Add Some Zing to Your Web Menus with Vector Brushes

I am going to show you how to make your web menus looks unique by using a free vector brush pack you can download.


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So first go here and download the brush pack. I am not sure if this works with earlier versions of photoshop. I doubt these will work with photoshop 7.

http://myphotoshopbrushes.com/brushes/id/146

Once you have done that, unzip the file to get the .abr file out. To get brushes into photoshop find your adobe folder in your program files that contains photoshop. Within the photoshop folder there should be one called presets then within that folder you will see brushes. Drag the file from the brush pack in that folder. Or you can unzip it directly in.

Once you have done that we need to load them in photoshop. So once in photoshop get your brush tool and open your brush preset picker

Click on the little arrow at the top right

When the menu pops up to go “load brushes”

Find the brush pack you just downloaded and click “load”.

Alright, that should be it for loading the brush into photoshop.

Now I am going to run you through a quick little menu just so you get an idea on what you can do with the brushes. I am going to start a canvas of 970X300px so I have plenty of space to work in and make the background black.

Make a white rectangle midway down your canvas like this:



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Then apply these blending options to that:

Inner Shadow

Inner Glow

Color Overlay

Stroke

That should look something like this



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After that set its opacity at 90% so we will be able to see our vector brushes through the menu.

Ok for a final touch, in a new layer add a white rounded rectangle at about 10px roundness across the top of the menu less than halfway down.



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Now set its blending mode to overlay and its opacity to about 50%.



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Make a new layer and grab the 3rd brush down in the set. Make your brush color white and put an accent at the bottom left of the menu. I changed the brush size to quite a bit smaller 140px. Add another one to the other side of your menu in the same spot except flip it horizontally.



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Now I want to blend those in to look like they are sort of growing off of the menu so I am going to add some blending options on the left one first. Then I am going to copy its blending options and paste the on the other.

I am going to zoom in about 300% to get a good view of the colors I want to make it.

Add a gradient overlay:

My result:

After that right click on your layer in your palette and click “copy layer style”, then right click on your other layer that doesn’t have color and click “paste layer style” so now it should be the same color.

Start a new layer and grab the last brush in the set and set its size to about 350px and make another vector on the top left so it almost connects to the other

Add this gradient overlay

Now I am going to flatten the layer so it is an editable image. The easiest way I found to do this is make a new blank layer below the layer you want to flatten, right click the layer with our vector and click “merge down”.

I want to make this vector look like its connecting on the front of the menu and the rest of it going behind it so highlight this portion

cut this part and paste it back and make sure to move it back in its original place but behind the menu.

After that duplicate those two layers, flip horizontally, and move them to the right part of the menu or whichever side you need.



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Now I am going to add my menu text.



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Next I am going to add a gradient overlay to the text and a small outer glow.

Gradient Overlay

Outer Glow

Here is my result

Copy and paste that layer style on all the other text.

Now for a little touch on the text I am going to use our brushes to add small vectors coming off of each text using the same method we did earlier.

Here is my result on the first text:

Just add little variations on each one if you want, I added some on and tried to show a different technique on each one.

Here is my final result:


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I hope you learned some simple techniques on to add some originality to your web menus and design using brushes.

Thanks for reading!

Here is the .PSD file..(right click and save as)

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