In this basic Pixelmator tutorial we make a nice, simple angled banner to add to a promotional graphic and draw your customers attention. We will use gradients, the transform controls, text tool, and marquee tools to complete this quick tutorial. It's easy, try it!
Step 1 - Create the Banner
First open a new canvas, 800 x 600px should be just fine. On a new transparent layer use the rectangular selection tool and create a box about 200 x 60 pixels in size.
For this tutorial we are going to use a bright eye-catching yellow gradient. Use #FFC32F to #FFA407.
Now fill the selection from top to bottom. If you hold the SHIFT key while pulling the gradient it will stabilize it at 180 degrees. Try it out. Hit CMD > D to turn off the selection.
We need to turn this shape at a 45 degree angle so hit CMD > F to bring up the transform controls. You have four ways you can turn the graphic. First check the Constrain proportions box so we don't distort anything. Now for rotating you can type "-45" in the box, use the arrow buttons, use the dial, or just put your mouse pointer near one of the outside corners and you can drag it around. If you hold SHIFT while doing this the shape will snap to certain angles as you turn. Use whichever technique is easiest for you. Hit ok.
Step 2 - Drop Shadow
Add a new layer, name it "Drop shadow" and put it under the "Ribbon" layer. Now CMD click on the Ribbon layer thumbnail to grab it's shape, but make sure the Drop shadow layer is still highlighted.
Fill the Drop shadow layer with black. Again you can do this several ways, using the paint bucket, going to Menu > Fill, or the shortcut Option > CMD > F.
Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Blur the Drop shadow to about 16px.
Now switch to the Move Tool (V) and use your keyboard arrow key to move the drop shadow 1px down and 1px to the right. Great, that looks good.
Now CMD click on the layers themselves (not the thumbnails) to highlight them and using the Move Tool move the graphic up into the corner of your canvas. We will move it back later, we just want to see what it will look like in the corner.
Step 3 - Add Text
Select the Type Tool (T) and drag out a bounding box on your canvas. This will automatically create a Text layer in the layers panel, make sure it's at the top of all the other layers. Type "NEW" and use Helvetica Neue, 48pt Font (Condensed Bold) and the color should be black.
We need a white version of the same text, so CMD click on the Text layer thumbnail to get it's shape and on a new layer fill with white. CMD > D to turn off the selection.
CMD highlight both of these layers and hit Option > CMD > F to turn both of these layers to 45 degrees at the same time.
Move the white text over and center it on the Banner, then the black text and line them up using the arrow keys.
Next move the "NEW" black text layer under the "NEW white" text layer.
We want to create a slight pressed look so move the black text layer up 1px.
Step 4 - Trim the Banner
Now let's mock the banner up on the edge of the linen texture box that I dragged and dropped and moved to the bottom of the layers panel so we can cut our Banner correctly.
Hold CMD and select all of the other layers, or a faster way is to click the top layer and SHIFT click the Drop shadow layer and this will highlight all of the layers in between.
Now using the Move Tool (V) move all of the banner layers over and center them in the corner. Feel free to drag out some guidelines to help you by clicking and dragging on the rulers top and left.
Ok, we need to trim this banner down and make it look like it's wrapping around the box. Select the Ribbon layer and use the rectangular selection tool (M) to make a box big enough to cover all of the top end sticking out. Make sure the box is 1px above the linen texture and hit delete.
Keep the selection on and select the Drop shadow layer and hit delete again.
Now because you left 1px of both the Ribbon and the Drop shadow it looks like it's wrapping over the back.
Let's do the same with the left side sticking out. Select the Ribbon layer again and remember to be 1px away from the Linen box, hit delete.
Delete the extra Drop shadow also.
Now we have a nice clean corner banner!
Step 5 - Add a Highlight
To add a highlight, first CMD click on the thumbnail of the Ribbon layer to grab it's shape. Add a new layer and name it "Highlight".
Fill the selection with white.
Now move this Highlight layer down just below the Ribbon layer.
We want this layer to just peek out from behind the Ribbon layer so using the arrow keys and the Move Tool (V) move it 1px left and 1px upwards.
Step 6 - Trim & Export
Our goal is to make a PNG graphic we can drag onto any project and have an instant banner. To do this, turn off the Linen layer and any background layers, if you have any. Go to Image > Trim and this option box will appear. The first option is what we want so hit ok.
Now that we have a nicely trimmed banner, export as a PNG to preserve the clear background and we're done!
This was a nice starter tutorial to get to know your way around Pixelmator. We created a nice looking useable graphic for other projects. Try changing elements like the color of the gradient, text style and more to make it your own! Thanks again for supporting our site and please leave feedback, questions, or links to your version in the comments below!