Categories
design education technology

Create Social Networking Chicklets in Photoshop

Final chicklet
Final chicklet
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.

Old School Chicklets
Old School Chicklets

Now here are some new school chicklets, which can be found at Mashable.

New School Chicklets
New School Chicklets

I was inspired by Mashable’s chicklets to make my own colorful versions in my BluLob sidebar.

My Chicklets
My Chicklets

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.

 

Source File

Here’s a large Facebook logo. Click the image below to get the full-size verison:

Facebook Logo - click for a larger version
Facebook Logo - click for a larger version

 

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.

  1. Open the Facebook logo in Photoshop.
  2. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a rectangle around just the letter “f”.
Copy the letter f
Copy the letter f
  1. Press Ctrl+C (Mac: Cmd+C) to copy the pixels to your computer’s clipboard.
  2. Start a new document that is 300px by 300px, 72 pixels/inch with a white background. Save the file.
  3. Press Ctrl+V (Mac: Cmd+V) to paste the letter f on its own layer above the background. Name this layer “original f”
Paste the letter f
Paste the letter f
  1. Use the Magic Wand tool to select the white pixels of the letter f.
  2. Press Ctrl+J (Mac: Cmd+J) to copy the pixels to a new layer at the top. Name this layer “white f”.
Copy the white f to a new layer
Copy the white f to a new layer
  1. Turn off visibility of the “original f” layer by clicking on the eye icon on its left edge.
  2. 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…
  3. Enter a width of 1 pixel and click OK.
Defringe
Defringe
  1. Click on the fx symbol at the bottom of the layers panel and select Bevel and Emboss.
  2. Use the following settings and click OK:
    • Style: Emboss
    • Technique: Smooth
    • Depth: 50%
    • Size: 2px
    • Direction: Down
Bevel and Emboss
Bevel and Emboss
  1. We need to make the letter f bigger. Press Ctrl+T (Mac: Cmd: T) to enter the Transform mode.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Transform mode
Transform mode
  1. The edges look a tad blurry. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen…
  2. Set the Amount 100%, the Radius to 20px, and click OK.
Sharpen
Sharpen

 

Next: the Chicklet

16 replies on “Create Social Networking Chicklets in Photoshop”

Thanks much for the various tutorials. I was wondering if you could put options to print and/or download a tutorial since I find it easier for follow a hardcopy when following the tutorials.

Hi, you got a nice & cool tutorial 🙂
I have a small problem, everything is correct until step 15. In my photoshop (CS4) the modify is inactive. How can I solve this problem?
Cheers
Keep up the good work

This tutorial is just what i need! Thank you! I really want to learn how to do this! I got stuck at the rounded corner though, my PS version is probably too old so I was unable to follow your guide through. Oh well, I still learned a lot by reading the guide 🙂 Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.