Inside Photoshop Part I – Duotones

While I’m learning Graphic Design techniques, I thought it would be a good idea to also learn new photoshop techniques unrelated to the graphic design course. This gives me a way of learning outside of the course and helps to mix up the learning that I’m doing, so it doesn’t get stale. Sometimes that can happen, especially if you’re someone like me who gets bored very quickly if I’m not learning something new. I don’t like to stay on one topic for too long, so I decided to teach myself two things I’ve wanted to learn for some time – 1. How to make Pastel GIFs for social media posts and 2. How to create Duotone images. Duotone images are actually one of the top design trends of the last 12 months so learning how to do this well was on my checklist. Much to my delight, I discovered that it’s a relatively simple image manipulation technique that can really “wow” readers with minimal effort from the designer. I did some research on the method and found that you can create a Duotone effect by using several different tools in Photoshop. That is one of the cool things about Photoshop – there are many different ways to learn how to apply an image effect and the more familiar you become with these methods, the easier it is learn something new.


There’s also absolutely nothing wrong with creating shortcuts to apply these effects, just as long as you don’t cut corners all the time! Some alternatives such as creating Photoshop Actions can take out the repetition of producing specific effects for your images. That’s when I stumbled on a website that had a link to 40 different photoshop actions that create Duotone effects. In fact, the Spoon Graphics website is one of my bookmarked sites for Graphic Designs inspiration and tools and the occasional freebie.

Not every image will suit duotone effects, and that’s something I’m learning as I go – part of the job of a designer is to know when something feels or looks right and when it doesn’t.

Here are some images I created with Duotone actions in photoshop. The photos are from a Cobra Kai promo (oops almost forgot to add, these images are also edited using the Threshold image adjustment)


And the same image with a different duotone:


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