A “chicklet” (as opposed to Chiclet, a yummy chewing gum) is a small button used to link to all kinds of things – social networks in particular. Back in the day, they were short and wide rectangles with small text. The new trend is rounded squares with plenty of gloss. Learn how to make one here.
This intermediate tutorial assumes that you already have these skills:
- creating and saving documents
- selecting and using tools
- viewing and using panels (palettes)
- working with gradients
- setting the layer opacity
- creating text
Below is a typical set of old school chicklets.
Now here are some new school chicklets, which can be found at Mashable.
I was inspired by Mashable’s chicklets to make my own colorful versions in my BluLob sidebar.
They take up more room, but boy are they attractive. A few well-placed and well-designed chicklets will have more impact than a giant cluster.
It helps to grab a copy of the original logo for whatever you link to. Let’s make a giant “f” chicklet like Mashable uses for Facebook.
Here’s a large Facebook logo. Click the image below to get the full-size verison:
Part One: the Logo
We’re going to work with a nice, big image size so it is easy to work with. Later we’ll reduce its size for the Web. Starting with a large file gives us a lot of options when we want to make it smaller. Enlarging a small image = bad. Ensmalling a large image = good.
- Open the Facebook logo in Photoshop.
- Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a rectangle around just the letter “f”.
- Press Ctrl+C (Mac: Cmd+C) to copy the pixels to your computer’s clipboard.
- Start a new document that is 300px by 300px, 72 pixels/inch with a white background. Save the file.
- Press Ctrl+V (Mac: Cmd+V) to paste the letter f on its own layer above the background. Name this layer “original f”
- Use the Magic Wand tool to select the white pixels of the letter f.
- Press Ctrl+J (Mac: Cmd+J) to copy the pixels to a new layer at the top. Name this layer “white f”.
- Turn off visibility of the “original f” layer by clicking on the eye icon on its left edge.
- Your white f probably has a blue fringe remaining around it. Make sure the “white f” layer is still active, and go to Layer > Matting > Defringe…
- Enter a width of 1 pixel and click OK.
- Click on the fx symbol at the bottom of the layers panel and select Bevel and Emboss.
- Use the following settings and click OK:
- Style: Emboss
- Technique: Smooth
- Depth: 50%
- Size: 2px
- Direction: Down
- We need to make the letter f bigger. Press Ctrl+T (Mac: Cmd: T) to enter the Transform mode.
- Make the letter about 200 pixels tall (you can use the Info panel to see the H value). Hold the Shift key down while you drag from any corner of the transform box.
- Leave space all around it, and room at the bottom for the text that will say “Facebook”. Press Enter (Mac: Return) to complete the transformation.
- The edges look a tad blurry. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen…
- Set the Amount 100%, the Radius to 20px, and click OK.
Next: the Chicklet