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Creating a Customized Signature Brush

Last updated Mar 14, 2003.

Personalizing your work can be one of the most important things you do. First, it shows everyone who sees it who created the image or photo. Just as important, it adds that personal touch to digital art, which by nature, can often seem very impersonal. In this article, I'll show you how to create a digital signature with a brush in Photoshop CS2 and then save it so you can reuse it over and over again.

There are two ways to create a digital signature. You can sign a piece of white paper and scan your signature in. That'll work just fine, but it adds a few steps to the process. The easiest way is to create the signature digitally from the beginning. Anyone with Photoshop and a mouse can do this. However, if you have a graphics tablet like those from Wacom, it's a lot easier.

Step One:

Let's start out by creating the signature. Create a blank document by choosing File > New. I'm going to create a rather large image since it's always easier to scale down. I'm starting with an 800 x 800 300 dpi image.

Step Two:

Next, select the Brush tool. In the Options bar, select the Brush picker and choose a 3-pixel hard-edged brush. It's one of the default brushes and you'll see it right at the top of the list.

Step Three:

Now, press the D key to set your foreground color to black. After all, you probably want to sign your name using black, right? Then create a new blank layer to hold your signature. Finally, using your mouse or your graphics tablet, write your signature with the Brush you just selected in

Step Four:

When you're done writing your signature, it's time to save the signature so you can reuse it easily. First, select the Rectangular Marquee tool. Then, draw a selection around the signature. Make sure you select the entire signature in this part.

Step Five:

After you create the selection, from the Edit menu choose Define Brush Preset. Give your Brush a descriptive name and press OK.

Step Six:

Now, it's time to use the signature. Open an image or photo that you'd like to have your signature on. This has become very popular with photographers so I'm going to use a photo to demonstrate this example.

Step Seven:

Select the Brush tool and click on the Brush picker in the top Options Bar. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Brush picker you'll see the signature brush you just created. Go ahead and select that brush. Then, choose a size for your brush that fits the photo you're working with. If you're unsure what size to use, just move your cursor over the photo with the Brush picker still open and you can see a preview.

Step Eight:

Once you've selected the brush and the brush size, click once on your photo to add your signature. It's best to do this on a separate layer so you can move it around and reposition it later if necessary.

That's all there is to it. Now, whenever you want to add your signature to your photos or images you have a custom brush preset ready for you to use. Until next time…