Reflecting on reflections

Let's take a moment to ponder a banner image.

It's kind of bland. And not too much going on. By the way, that font I'm using is called 'Pupcat'. Let's do a couple of things to spice the banner up a bit and make it more appealing. We will add a texture to the background and also do some reflection off the larger letters on the bottom. Feel free to use any font you want.

Create a new Design document, 800px by 200px. Draw a rectangle the length of the document and give it a fill color. The above blue fill color is #230FD2. In my image I've rounded off the corners of the rectangle by setting my corner radius to 43px. You can find this setting under the 'Edit Rectangle' window to the right of the design area (by default).

In your layers window you might want to name the current layer "Background". I like to do this to keep my project organized so I know what's what. You will want to add a new layer that is above the 'Background' layer. I named this layer "Text_Main". The smaller text for the word Microsoft is also in this layer, but that won't matter. Center your text in the rectangle. At this point I would save what I'm working on just so there are no uh oh's. So what you have is pretty much what I do above. Sure, it's plain and simple and follows the old designer's addage KISS or Keep It Simple, Stupid. But what if I want to pretty it up a bit? ED lets you apply a lot of different customizations, but I'm only interested in a couple of them right now. First let's work on spicing up the background.

Select the rectangle in the Background layer. In the Effects window add the live effect 'sponge' which is in the 'paint' category. Leave the numbers at their default settings. Now let's add another live effect, the 'crosshatch' effect under the 'sketch' category. Set the stroke length at 50 and the sharpness at 20. Leave the strength at 1. Okay, not bad. This is what you have now.

That's a little better. But let's do some more. Add another layer in between Background and Text_Main and call this one Reflection. Select the text "expression design" or whatever text you are working with. We don't want to select the smaller text near the top of the banner, just the larger text at the bottom. Hit CTRL+C to copy or go to Edit, Copy. Select the new Reflection layer then click CTRL+V or go to Edit, Paste. So now you have two text lines cluttering up the project. Right click on the text you just created and select  Transform, Reflect Vertical. Now the text is upside down. Move this text down to the bottom so that half of it falls off the edge of the border and alight it directly underneath the main text with just a hairline of space between the two. This is what you should end up with.

Next, we need make the reflection look more real. Select the upside down text and set the opacity to 30%. Not quite done yet. You can stop here if you want, but there's a little bit more we can do to make this look even better. Add another layer and call it Background2. This layer needs to be on top of the Background layer but under the Reflection layer in your layers window. Draw another rectangle with a while fill (#FFFFFF), corner radius set to 43px and opacity at 30%. We're going to position this one to where the top is just above the right-side-up text and bleeds off the edge of the rounded rectangle. It won't matter that it bleeds over because the rectangle and the background are both white, so it doesn't show up. Now use the Direct Selection arrow (the white one) to select the new rounded rectangle and move the top handle points so that they meet the edge of the banner, like this:

You will notice that there is a bit of bleed off the edge as far as the selection is concerned, but again because the rectangle is white and the background is white, it won't make a difference. Even if the bleed was a noticeable color, when you export the image what's beyond the border doesn't show. Now we're almost done. Select the lighter rectangle and apply both a sponge live effect with default settings and a crosshatch live effect with stroke length set to 50, sharpness set to 20 and strength set to 1. We're done! This is what you end up with:

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