Cleaning Your Scan: An excerpt from Photoshop for Designers

From time to time we all have to work with troublesome scans. In this excerpt from our Photoshop for Designers workshop Sherry demonstrates how to fix a scan of a flower sketch using levels and the blur tool.

Interested in learning more Photoshop tips? Register here!

Photoshop for Designers Featured Alumna: Beatriz Vecino

Bevero-FloraOriental-week6-2DayPrints created by Beatriz in the last Photoshop for Designers workshop


Beatriz Vecino, who designs under the name Bevero, is a “Graphic Designer and Textile Designer, based in Madrid, Spain who has been working for more than 20 years for the fashion and decoration industries for customers around the world.

With a Bachelor of Graphic Design and diverse studies in Industrial and print design at Universidad Politécnica, she specialized in pattern design after her 2009 Master on Prints and Surfaces Pattern Design at the Istituto Europeo di Design.

Her style is colorful, pattern-full and modern and is inspired by nature, architecture, surfaces, works of art, people she meets, readings, or anything drawing her attention or being curious to her.

“I have always loved designing and have been working on diverse design disciplines: advertising, web and product design, fashion- textile; although so far, the most fulfilling activity has been pattern design: custom designed wall covering, fabric, stationery and tiles.”

When working and depending on the effect and result she wants to achieve Beatriz works directly with the computer or hand drawing with markers, pencils, inks or watercolors.

Beatriz’s works have been published in Texitura Printing and Design Magazine, Pattern People and Zeix amongst others.”


Bevero2Prints created by Beatriz in the last Photoshop for Designers workshop


Beatriz’s PFD Story

Abstractions was a project being carried out during the “Photoshop for Designers” course. I was interested to learn the tricks and techniques offered by the program and differences with respect to offering programs that use vector regularly.

Although I’m a graphic designer and textile designer I usually work more with vector programs like Illustrator, but wanted to take the effects Photoshop offers seen from a more artistic design point and directed to repeat.

The course “Photoshop for Designers” has helped me to expand my knowledge and make prints with more artistic and less linear effects.

With Sherry’s classes I have learned to make the most of an image and have created new designs in repeat. I found the dynamics of the course very enjoyable and easy to perform. I can now offer a wider range of designs to my clients.”


Visit Beatriz online at, and on Society6, Pinterest and Domestica.


Photoshop for Designers is a six-week workshop that starts July 6th, 2015. For a sneak peek into the course, check out this video from week four of the class in which Sherry demonstrates how to fix a scan of a flower sketch: 


There is still time to reserve your spot in the class before we dive in on Monday. Register here!

Tech Talk: Web File Formats

June 2015 Tech Talk by Sherry London. Sherry London is our resident Adobe expert who brings Textile Design Lab students in-depth posts on how to improve their design process by using technology to its fullest capacity. This is an excerpt of a longer post available to members of the Textile Design Lab. Join us to access the full post!


As working designers, you not only need to know how to save your work for print, but you need to know how to display your work on the Web as well. This month, I want to talk about the Web formats: GIF, JPG and PNG (JPG and PNG are discussed in the full Textile Design Lab post.)

I want to give you an idea of when to use each one and the trade-offs involved. The trade-offs are usually size vs quality. The hallmark of any web format is how much it compresses the image into a tiny file size. Tiny files load faster. Faster loading images = happy viewers! However, the various formats also affect the quality of the image. The smaller the image, typically the worse it looks when compared to the original.

When people speak of “Saving for the Web” they usually mean artwork that is saved at a lower resolution to be displayed online. Historically, that “web” resolution has been pegged at 72 ppi even though today’s monitors almost all have a true resolution that can be a lot higher than that. However, you won’t go wrong for now just taking the 72 ppi as the web standard, even though the actual display size will be smaller than the “inch” dimensions of 72 ppi you would expect.

When images are displayed on the Web, the actual resolution is not considered. If a browser sees 500 pixels, it will display the 500 pixels AS 500 pixels—regardless of whether you have your file set to 72 ppi or 800 ppi.

In the image below, I saved the top part as a 72 ppi PNG and the bottom part as a 500 ppi JPG. I then opened each file in my browser window and did a screen capture of the display of the image. You can see that the display size is identical even though the resolutions are quite different. The only thing your browser cares about is number of pixels.


That, at least, frees you about worrying if you should use 72 ppi or 96 or whatever resolution if you want to display on the Web.

So, let’s look now at the actual file formats.


GIFGraphics Interchange File is the easiest of the web formats to understand. It is an indexed color file and can only contain 256 colors maximum. Any one of those colors can be transparent. However, since only one color can be transparent, you can’t get a smooth foreground to background transparency. Anything that is partially transparent is rendered as 100% opaque.

That is the factor responsible for some of a GIF file’s ugliest moments. The conversion to indexed color from Save for Web or Export (in Photoshop CC2015) and the Image > Mode > Indexed Color command is different. Here is a comparison of the edges of the image using all three conversion methods on an image imported from Illustrator that has anti-aliased (soft) edges.


The unlovely white edges are immediately apparent.

I am writing this blog post at an interesting time in Photoshop’s development. The Adobe Creative Cloud suite was updated to the 2015 version yesterday and there are some significant changes for web graphics embedded in this new release.


The Save for Web command that we have used since Photoshop 5.5 (before Creative Suite), is now a legacy option and it has moved to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy). When Adobe makes something “Legacy” it is being phased out. In this case, the Export As command is taking its place. Let’s spend a few moments looking at each of these options.

Here is the old Save for Web dialog box (the same basic dialog that is in all working copies of Photoshop and Illustrator)


I like this dialog box as there is a lot of power there. The GIF features give you the ability to reduce your palette to fewer than 256 colors and to choose the specific colors to which to reduce the image if you want to delve that far. It also lets you see the palette sorted by Hue, Luminance, or Popularity. That can be useful in helping you to see which colors to pick.


In comparison, the new Export As options for GIF are quite limited.


You can control the image size and the canvas size. A GIF is always transparent and you can’t alter that. There is no Color Table visible nor do you have control over the Color table or the number of colors in the table. You can’t specify dither. However, it is a much simpler dialog box and easier to get through.

The Save for Web manipulations of a Color Table are really not needed for something you want to put up on the web. I always found them much more useful for indexing designs for wet printing. They were sometimes more flexible and useful than the Image > Mode > Indexed Color command.

Let’s leave the indexing for printing issue for the moment and look at when you might want to save a GIF for the Web.

  • You want transparency.
  • The image has hard edges or few colors in it anyway. It is a “graphic” rather than a photo.
  • There is type in the image.

The other issue is size. You want images designed for the web to be as small as possible in terms of file size—not dimensions. The fewer bytes the browser needs to load, the faster it can display the image.


Join us in the Textile Design Lab to continue reading this in-depth post, where Sherry discusses additional things to be aware of when saving files as GIF, dives deep into JPG and PNG, touches on what size web images should be for various applications, and her recommendation for the best file format to use when saving to the Web. Textile Design Lab members also have access to our archive of fourteen other Tech Talks on a wide range of subjects from Indexing and Color Simplification to Using Illustrator’s Image Trace Command, to Working with Spoonflower. 

Note: Sherry will be teaching her wonderful Photoshop for Designers class starting July 6th and there is still time to register! Read what some alumni have to say about the course on our PFD Pinterest board.


From the Textile Design Lab: Complex Geometrics Design Tutorial

As part of our online learning community, the Textile Design Lab, we share pattern design tutorials to introduce new techniques and concepts and help give our students an edge in this industryPlease enjoy this free excerpt of our Complex Geometrics design tutorial and join us to access the full post-Chelsea

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.16.20 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 8.16.46 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 9.51.34 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 9.48.44 AM

Join us in the Textile Design Lab to access the rest of this tutorial, in which I share my inspiration for this design from WGSN’s “Ceremonial Geometrics” trend, tips for organizing your layers, how to bring a sense of movement and flow to a geometric print, my thoughts on the marketability of simple geometrics and more.


***Check out our new Pinterest board “Complex Geos” where I’ve shared some great geometric designs for inspiration.*** 

Featured Designer: Carolina Abarca

Ethnic Rhombus copyCarolina’s “Ethnic Spring” collection 


Carolina Abarca is a former research scientist, originally from Chile and now leaving near Barcelona with her husband and two children. She describes her style as “simple, graphic, full of colour and joyful” and we couldn’t agree more–those bright geos can’t help but incite cheer!

Carolina’s inspiration comes from “a variety of places, from anything and everywhere. But I have to say that a great source of ideas comes from my children; the places we visit together and our bike rides on weekends to a forest close to where we live.

I mostly draw using Illustrator or Corel Draw (which I have taught myself), using a digital drawing tablet (which I love!) More recently I am building up my confidence and hand drawing sketches which then I scan into the computer and continue developing with Illustrator.”


Damask-coral copy


“When creating my patterns I spend time searching for the right colours and build up palettes of my favourites. I think that the right colour palette can make a big difference to a design.

My journey into the creative world has been long and full of detours but I am so pleased to feel like I am finally on the right track and wake up every day looking forward to continuing the adventure!”


Visit Carolina at: and find her on social media here:   

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.