Creating a Leaf-based Graphic Identity for a Biotechnology Corporation
Dateline: December 2, 2005
Version: Photoshop CS
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|Sebastián Guerrini amplified the contrast
and shape of a leaf into a symbolic graphic for a biotechnology
corporation’s pamphlets, folders, posters and displays.
||Guerrini scanned a linden tree leaf
into Photoshop, chose Image > Rotate
Canvas > 90° CCW, and used the Crop
tool to clip a section from the leaf.
||The leaf’s tonal values were almost
within the same range, so Guerrini
chose Image > Adjustments > Gradient
Map. In the resulting dialog box, he
clicked on the gradient bar to open the
Gradient Editor. Then he double-clicked
the far left Color Stop (shadows) on the
gradient bar and chose green from the
Color Picker. He did the same to the far
right Color Stop (highlights), choosing
a similar green, and click-dragged both
stops inward. Guerrini clicked between
the stops on the bottom border of the
gradient bar to create a new Color Stop.
He double-clicked it, chose a dark green,
and created another Color Stop directly
to the left to add a medium-dark green.
Gradient Map is similar to Curves in that
it alters tonal values, but it also replaces
the values with the colors in a gradation.
The green values on the ends would be
applied to the highlights and shadows of
the leaf, and the dark-green colors would
affect the three-quarter midtones. To
broaden the contrast, he added a light-green
Color Stop on either side of the
dark-green center stops.
Due to the gradient’s complexity, the
image sharpened and would visually
compete with the company’s logo, so
Guerrini softened the contrasts. He
duplicated the leaf layer twice, selected
the bottom duplicate layer, chose Filter >
Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set Radius to 4
pixels. He added a mask, clicked the layer
mask thumbnail, selected a large Soft
Round brush at 15% Opacity, and painted
on the leaf’s veins to hide them from
the blur. With the top duplicate layer,
he applied the Motion Blur filter with a –70 Angle and a 63-pixel Distance, and
set the layer’s Opacity to 80%. To reveal
the motion only in the veins, he added a
mask to the layer and painted on the leaf
to hide it.
Guerrini wanted the leaf’s veins to
have a stronger presence, so he selected
the Gradient Map Leaf layer, and chose
Image > Adjustments > Replace Color.
In the resulting dialog box, he clicked
Selection, then clicked on a vein in the
image. He adjusted the Fuzziness slider
to select the majority of the leaf’s veins,
and moved the sliders in the Replacement
pane to make the veins darker.
To symbolize the company growing
on a global scale, Guerrini flattened
the image, then chose Filter > Distort >
Shear. He moved the top point to the left,
clicked on the grid to add a center point
that he pulled to the right, and clicked
OK. He then chose Spherize from the
Distort menu and set Amount to 52%.
This rounded the leaf’s veins and bulged
the overall shape for an impression of a
globe’s meridians and parallels.
||Guerrini flattened the image again,
converted the Background to a new
layer, and duplicated it. He chose Image
> Canvas Size and clicked the top middle
arrow box to set the Anchor. After setting
the Height units to percent, he entered a
Height of 200, and pressed OK. Guerrini
added to the global shape by pressing
Command/Ctrl-T for Free Transform, and
while holding Shift, he click-dragged
the top middle bounding box handle to
the bottom of the image to mirror the
top leaf. The final treatment is shown at left.
Sebastián Guerrini is an Argentina-based designer.