WHAT WE’RE CREATING:
Hello Design Cutters! This Thursday, we are going to use the resources of the lovingly handcrafted design bundle, to create a striking coconut water label prototype.
We’ll see how to use a pattern to establish a background to build upon, how some small hand-drawn elements can establish and expand an identity system, and to rapidly explore color variations using layer styles and a mockup template.
Ready? Let’s dive right in.
We’ll use both Photoshop and Illustrator for this tutorial. Good old Photoshop will be our main tool, and Illustrator will help us to copy and paste vector assets into our master document.
We’ll be using a free mockup template by the good folks at Pixeden to work from. You’ll have to create an account to access the download.
Important note: because we are working from a mockup template, our document will not be production ready. Should you ever have the chance to work on a drink can design, do not forget to check the dimensions and specifications given by the printer and/or can manufacturer.
With that warning taken care off, it’s time to get to work.
STEP ZERO: CONCEPTUALIZING
The concept came together by studying the resources included in the bundle, as well as by looking through examples of commercially available coconut water.
The general “selling point” of coconut water is that it’s a healthy, and maybe even eco-friendly, drink. The visual treatments explore both minimalist and extravagant directions.
Lisa Glanz’ sketched toolkit will provide the bulk of the visual assets. The hand drawn leaf specifically will be the cornerstone of the “identity system” we’ll develop for the drink.
Type-wise, we’ll make good use of The treasured years font duo.
The Thriftshop Hand Lettering Collection will give us the other type elements we’ll need, including little ornaments not found in the hand-sketched toolkit.
From there, the mockup template will dictate the aspect ratio our document will have, tall and vertical.
STEP ONE: DOCUMENT SETUP
As detailed before, we’ll base our work document in Photoshop on the mockup template. Let’s have a look at its layer structure. The smart objects highlighted in red are the ones we’ll need to update.
The middle section smart object is where most of the magic will happen. After opening it, we can see its content, and obtain its dimensions: 770×1100 pixels @ 72 ppi.
For our own file to be slightly closer to an actual production condition, we’ll make it 770×1100 pixels @ 300 ppi.
Furthermore, we’ll add guides marking the center of our canvas, as well as a 50 pixels safety zone around its edges.
Reminder: GuideGuide is a solid alternative to Photoshop CC’s new guide layout feature (View > New guide layout).
STEP TWO: LAYOUT FOUNDATION
The background is relatively simple. It features a solid color, and a faint pattern to give additional depth.
Let’s fill the background layer with a faint yellow, #f1eee5.
Next, the pattern. Luckily for us, Lisa has pre-made high resolution pattern sheets as part of her kit. We’ll use Pattern-01.png, available in the \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\PNG\Patterns\Repeat_sheets\ folder of your bundle archive.
It needs to be placed centered in the piece (X: 385 px, and Y: 550 px), scaled down to 50%, and rotated clockwise of 24°.
Next, we are going to give it a few attributes through the layer style panel. Let’s start by turning the layer fill down to 0%. This will allow us to fully leverage the layer styles effects and their blending modes, without having to worry what color the asset is. It will make the pattern “disappear,” but we’ll fix that very soon.
Give the patterns a color overlay of a dark copper color (#6f5e57), with a blending mode of color burn @ 15% opacity.
The last element we’ll add to the background at this stage is the “footer.” It’s one of the vector borders that are also part of the toolkit. We’ll call it the bubbly one. It’s available in the Borders_27-52.ai file (\lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC).
The border should be placed as a smart object, at em>X: 385 px, and Y: 1080 px, and scaled down to 30%.
After turning its fill down to 0%, we’ll give it a similar color overlay than the pattern, except more opaque (6f5e57, linear burn @ 25% opacity).
It’s now time for some layer organization.
STEP THREE: ASSEMBLING THE LAYOUT
We’ll now go from top to bottom when adding the other elements in place.
The header is composed of four elements:
- The left side of the chevron banner (Borders_1-26.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC)
- A flipped copy of the banner to form the right side of the banner
- A double-rimmed circle (Shapes.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC)
- The leaf (Floral_and_decorative.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC)
Let’s start with the circle. It should be pasted as a smart object at X: 385 px, and Y: 145 px, scaled to 60%.
The leaf is next. It should be pasted centered within the circle (X: 385 px, and Y: 145 px), and scaled down to 35%.
Then, the left side of the chevron border. It should be pasted as a smart object, scaled down to 30%, and located at X: 260 px, and Y: 145 px, using the middle right extremity as the reference point.
Its mirrored copy on the right should be located at X: 1430 px, and Y: 145 px, using the middle left extremity as the reference point.
After a little bit of layer organization, we’ll use layer styles to add colors.
Let’s start with the leaf. After turning the layer’s fill to zero again, we’ll give it a pale orange overlay (#e8bd86), set to multiply @ 100% opacity.
The circle features the exact same settings. Luckily for us, we don’t have to repeat all the above steps (fill to zero, color overlay, etc.). We can simply use the Copy layer style option available in the right-click menu that’s offered to us when right-clicking a layer thumbnail.
The next step is to paste the layer style we just copied onto the circle layer.
The results are quick, but more importantly, consistant with the leaf.
This technique will allow us to quickly give multiple elements the same look and feel at once. This will come in handy when prototyping alternative color schemes, but also when building the layout itself. I will demonstrate this with the chevron border elements. We just have to set the style for once side, and quickly copy and paste it to the its mirror sibling.
Here are the settings:
- Layer blending mode: normal
- Layer opacity: 100%
- Layer fill: 0%
- Color overlay: #6f5e57
- Color overlay blending mode: multiply @ 100% opacity
After some organization, here’s our layer stack.
The main type elements
The master section of the label is composed of one of the “blob” shapes, still from the sketched toolkit, from two different type blocks, and from four small ornaments, working in pairs.
Let’s start with the blob shape. It’s this one.
It’s pasted as a smart object, located at X: 385 px, and Y: 550 px. We won’t respect its original aspect ratio, by scaling it down at 85% of its original width, and 80% of its original height.
Its layer style is slightly more complex than the previous ones we’ve set up so far. It includes a color overlay, as well as a stroke.
- Layer blending mode: normal
- Layer opacity: 100%
- Layer fill: 0%
- Color overlay: #f1eee5
- Color overlay blending mode: normal @ 100% opacity
- Stroke size: 1 px, stroke color: #6f5e57, stroke position: outside
- Stroke blending mode: Linear burn @ 35% opacity
When it’s all said and done, here’s what we get.
From there, we can add the two text blocks. The first one is “Coco.” It’s set in Thriftshop Brush Script Regular, that’s 72 points tall, centered, and colored in #e8bd86. It’s placed at X: 405 px, and Y: 600 px.
The second text block is “EAU DE.” It’s set in The Treasured Years Display Regular, that’s 12 points tall, centered, and also colored in #e8bd86. It’s placed at X: 450 px, and Y: 485 px.
The first ornament pair comes from the same set as the leaf (Floral_and_decorative.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC).
The first one is pasted on the left of “EAU DE,” at X: 355 px, and Y: 480 px. It’s scaled down to 20%, and rotated 90° counter-clockwise.
Its mirrored copy is placed at X: 545 px, and Y: 480 px.
Finally, both are assigned the same layer style as the header’s chevron border elements.
The next two ornaments are part of the Thriftshop Extras Regular typeface. They correspond to the lowercase “q” and “r.”
They are both set at 30 points tall, centered, and colored in #e8bd86. The “q” symbol is placed at X: 165 px, and Y: 580 px, while the “r” symbol is placed at X: 610 px, and Y: 595 px. The “r” symbol is rotated clockwise 12°.
So far, here’s what the layer stack is looking like.
Secondary type elements
The secondary type elements are using a typeface we haven’t played with so far: Carneval Bold Regular.
The elements will act as taglines. They are both set in Carneval Bold Regular, that is 6 points tall, and colored in our main yellow #e8bd86.
They read “THE DESIGN CUTS / CUSTOM RECIPE” and “TWELVE FL. OZ OF / NATURAL HYDRATION.” The first one will have a little ornament pair surrounding it. It looks like a laurel wreath, and goes along the “premium” element of the first tagline (Floral_and_decorative.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC).
“THE DESIGN CUTS / CUSTOM RECIPE” is placed at X: 385 px, and Y: 325 px.
“TWELVE FL. OZ OF / NATURAL HYDRATION” is placed at X: 385 px, and Y: 745 px.
The first laurel leaf is placed at X: 245 px, and Y: 325 px, scaled down to 15%, and rotated of 45° counter-clockwise.
Its mirrored copy is placed at X: 525 px, and Y: 325 px, scaled down to 15%, and rotated clockwise 45°.
Both are given the same layer style as the other ornaments, or as the chevron borders.
Finally, here’s the status of the layer stack up to now.
The watercolor leaf
The next asset we have to bring into play is one of Octopus Artist’s tropical watercolor leaves. It’s Tropical_07.png (\octopus-artis\Tropical Watercolor Leaves\PNG\).
It’s placed at X: 385 px, and Y: 865 px, scaled down to 15%, and rotated to 90° clockwise.
The blending mode is linear burn @ 100%.
We are now going to use a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer to colorize it closer to our copper brown. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
The Organic banner
The last set of elements we’ll need to put into place are to form an “organic” banner. The copy reads “100% raw & organic.” The text is supported by one of Lisa’s shapes (Shapes.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC), and surrounded by one of her border designs (Shapes.ai, Borders_1-26.ai).
As before, let’s start with the banner shape. It’s placed at X: 385 px, and Y: 1005 px, scaled without respecting the original aspect ratio to 90% of its original width, and 50% of its original height.
The left border section is scaled down to 50%, and located at X: 200 px, and Y: 1010 px, using the middle right extremity as the reference point.
Its mirrored twin is located at X: 575 px, and Y: 1010 px, using the middle left extremity as the reference point.
The box receives the same layer style as the leaf and circle combo.
The borders are receiving the same layer style of their header counterpart.
The tagline is set in The Treasured Years Script Regular, that’s 10 points tall, and colored like the background (#f1eeec). It’s located at X: 385 px, and Y: 1010 px.
Here’s a look at the layer stack.
STEP FOUR: TEXTURES
It’s time to add three textures to the piece, to give it slightly more depth.
The two first ones are vector textures from Lisa’s set (Textures.ai, \lisa-glanz\Sketched Toolkit\Vectors CS3-CC).
The first one is #8, and the second one is #10.
#8 centered in the canvas, and scaled up to 125%.
The texture is then given a yellow overlay (#e8bd86).
#10 is also centered in the canvas, and scaled up to 130%.
Then, the textured is assigned a copper brown overlay (#6f5e57).
The last texture will be a raster texture. It’s taken from Hej’s real red marker textures (\hej\Real Red Marker Textures\HEY_REAL_RED_MARKER.psd). The interesting one to us is HEY!_RED_PAGE_02.
It’s centered, and scaled down to 35%.
We’re using a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the texture.
Next, a clipped levels adjustment layer is used to emphasize the texture’s details.
Blending mode: soft light @ 35% opacity.
And here’s our last look at the full layer stack.
STEP FIVE: PUTTING THINGS IN PLACE IN THE MOCKUP TEMPLATE
After saving a flat copy (PNG or JPG) of our art, we can put it into place in the mockup template. Let start with the central section that we just finished.
Here it is with the central section smart object updated.
We now have to update the top section of the can mockup, that is separated from the file we just generated. Once opened, this is what it look likes.
What is good for us, is that the width of the file we created matches the width of the top smart object file, 770 pixels. That means that we can just bring over the solid background, the pattern, and the “bubble” border, with the same scaling and color setting.
Element one: the background. We simply need to create a new layer, and fill it with our main background color (#f1eee5 – note that we’re keeping the original layers, just in case).
Second element: the pattern. Pattern-01.png is pasted in scaled up at 130%, rotated at 24° clockwise, and located at X: 385 px, and Y: 65 px.
Instead of painstakingly reproduce the pattern’s layer style from the master file by hand, we can simply copy and paste the layer style from one file to the next.
The same goes for the bubble border. After pasting it scaled up to 175%, flipped upside down, and positioned at X: 385 px, and Y: 29 px, we can copy and paste the proper layer style over.
The last thing we’ll tweak is the reflection on the can. It’s so strong that it’s causing the color on the watercolor leaf to “flare.” The controlling layer style for that is located in the Mask design layer, through the gradient overlay.
The original layer style is a gradient overlay, set to overlay @ 100% opacity.
We’ll simply lower it to 50% opacity.
The result is much more believable.
STEP SIX: TAKING THINGS FURTHER
As mentioned at the beginning of our label project, the main interest of working from a mockup template is to be able to prototype variations quickly, especially through the magic of smart objects. Want a version without watercolor leaf? A few adjustments, some layers turned off, and it’s “there.”
Similarly, the template allows to switch off the condensation effect.
But better yet, when combining the flexibility of the template with the time saving technique of copying and pasting layer styles, it’s easy to experiment with alternative color schemes.
Here’s one where the color of the background is changed to #f7f4e5, the light yellow to a old gold yellow (#c0903c), and the copper brown to a dark, muted green (#807953).
Because the product has an eco-friendly streak to it, a color scheme based on greens could work as well. The background is changed to a bright off-white (#fcfcfc), the dark color is a dark, warm green (#33560b), and the light color is a bright green (#738b15).
It’s also easy to quickly assemble the three cans in a single file, by dragging the necessary layers in a master file.
The highlighted layers groups are the ones that compose the can, and its shadow, on an empty background.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
Phew, that was a long tutorial! I hope that you enjoyed it, and that your outcome matches the goals you had at the beginning.
Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! The Design Geeks and myself will be happy to help out.
We’d love to see your tutorial outcomes! Please share them with us on the Design Cuts Facebook page. We’ll share the best ones with the whole Design Cuts community.
The Lovingly Handcrafted Design Bundle is still available for a few more days, for a great 95% off its original price. Catch it while you can!
If you already purchased the assets, I hope you enjoy them, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you’ll be able to accomplish with them.
And on that note, that’s it for me! Until next time, cheers!