Get that 3D Look with Photoshop

Are your printed promotions falling a little flat? If so, it’s time to start thinking about how you can use three-dimensional space in your next promotional piece. While creating a true 3D item may be far outside your budget, you can easily trick the eye into thinking that there’s additional depth even when you’re working in only two dimensions.

Here are some tips for leveraging three-dimensional space in your next print project.

Create Overlapping Content

Adding depth through illusion requires your designer to be skillful in their application of a variety of techniques. One of the easiest ways to accomplish a 3D-like look is through overlapping images, which can create a more realistic approximation of depth. Slightly obscuring one image with another can create a negative space, which the eye tends to interpret as a depth of field. Don’t limit yourself to the tried-and-true drop shadows, but branch out to creating transparent elements that appear to float in front of other images.

An Active Blur of Motion

Movement implies dimension, so creating an image where the subject appears to be moving away rapidly can create the illusion of a third dimension. Bleeding images off the edge of a page may also contribute a more authentic look to your project. Think of the blurred headlights of a car moving away from you on the road, or the image of a cycler who appears to be speeding off the edge of the page.

Contrast Foreground and Background

Try using visual hierarchy and scale to expose the eye to an unexpected design. Moving specific items to the forefront or background of an image may cause a three-dimensional effect due to the negative space your brain perceives to be between the two images.

Introduce a New Perspective

Spatial relationships have an implied perspective when you introduce the concept of volume to your designs. Vary the color gradients of your design to make some parts appear vibrant and closer, while others seem to be grayer and further in the background.

Create a stunning illusion of depth by incorporating one (or more than one) of these options into your next print design. Want to learn more design tips or work with a professional to translate your ideas into print? Contact us today!