Now that we’ve recovered from Christmas we can finally sit back and relax for awhile!
Just kidding. It’s Easter planning time.
If you don’t have a graphic design guru at your church this article is going to give you some awesome, and free, design options for Easter. Even if you do have a graphics ninja, they’re creative brain may still be a little fried from the holidays. Take them some coffee and send them this article.
When I was a graphic design baby I wanted to do everything by hand, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, accepting help or taking a few shortcuts can have a positive impact on your creativity in the long run. “Work smarter not harder”, as they say. It’s always tempting to have custom everything but sometimes retaining your sanity so you can focus on other ministry related projects is the best option.
I’m going to throw in a Photoshop tutorial at the end to show you how you can use design resources from CMG Create to achieve a customized look in minutes, but first the free stuff!
Free Social Media Graphics from Church Marketing Sucks
This pack comes with 1280 x 720 jpg files as well as and original psd files so you can adjust the image size to fit your projector screen, Instagram, Facebook profile, or Facebook cover image.
Free Easter Resources from Church Media Drop
Church Media Drop is an incredible resource for churches and they have quite a few Easter designs to choose from. Some projects even come with editable psd files which makes it easy to customize them for bulletins and social media. They also have video loops that can be used as a background for lyrics or to create a quick Easter intro video.
Free Easter Slides, Graphics, and Templates from Creation Swap
Creation Swap offers free and premium resources and their free Easter selection is huge! Not all files are editable so you may need to find other files with a similar color palette to substitute for lyric and slide backgrounds but with such a variety of options, it’s worth it.
Free Easter PSD Template from Church Motion Graphics
I think the simplicity of this template is what makes it so beautiful. The color and texture of the smoke really stand out and the blending of the text is perfect. I think this would be a great template for someone that needs a solid starting point but also wants some creative freedom.
Now, on to the tutorial! First you’ll need to download the following resources from CMG Create and font from Da Font. Also, you can use these techniques in multiple ways so feel free to get creative afterwards and add your own elements to the design!
When we’re finished, we’ll have these two options; one for Easter and one for Palm Sunday.
First, I opened a new document, chose “Film & Video”, and selected the HDTV 1920 x 1080 document. You should choose whatever document size you need based on your specific purpose (projector size, bulletin cover, social media, etc).
I had the files I listed about saved on my desktop so I was able to just drag them right into photoshop. From top to bottom the files are Smoke Image, Gold Foil Texture, and I’ve left the generic white background.
Next, I used the font listed about to type “Easter” in all caps and I centered the text. It literally doesn’t matter what color you make the text.
I then went down to the lower option menu and selected the “New Adjustment Layer” icon and chose “Solid Color”.
I then set the color to “eae6e1” and placed the layer underneath the Gold Foil Texture.
Now, here’s where the magic happens! First, I moved the Smoke Image layer so it’s on top. It’s important that your layers be in this exact order for the following steps to work.
Next, I selected the Gold Foil Texture, changed the Blending Mode to “Screen” and reduced the Opacity to 25%.
I then selected the Colored Smoke Image and hit “Option + Command + G” on my Mac. I believe on a Windows system it would be “Alt + Control + G”. This will make the Colored Smoke Image mask over the text.
At this point, my image looked like this. We’re almost there!
Now, I selected the Gold Foil Texture layer, added the Gold Leaf PNG by dragging it in from the desktop, and I rotated it slightly. Selecting the Gold Foil Texture first will ensure that we don’t release the mask on our text. If you forget, that’s okay. Just drag the feather down below the text, select the Colored Smoke Image again, and hit “Option + Command + G” again.
You can stop here if you’d like, but I wanted to add a little more. All I did was select the Gold Feather and hit “Command + J” twice. This will copy the Feather layer so now you’ll have three. I moved one feather to the bottom left corner and the other to the top right corner and rotated it until I was happy with the placement.
I then selected the Colored Image layer and hit “Command + J” twice. I put a Colored Smoke layer above each corner feather and hit “Option + Command + G”. You’ll have to do this to both smoke layers. Your layer panel should now look something like this. I have renamed my feather layers so I know the difference and I’ve placed them on top but you don’t have to do that. They don’t interfere with the text so their placement in the layer panel isn’t really important, they just need to be somewhere above the Gold Foil Texture.
Here is our final Easter Graphic!
To turn this into the Palm Sunday option, all I did was add a Gradient Overlay to each of the Colored Smoke Images and change the text to Palm Sunday. Just select one of your Colored Smoke layers, click the Blending Options icon in the lower option menu, and select Gradient Overlay.
I changed the blending mode to “Color”, Style to “Reflected”, chose “Reverse” and “Align with Layer”and I selected a three color Gradient from one of the standard options. I adjusted the colors manually to a bright green on either side and a yellow in the middle.
To do this, just double click on the Gradient color and a “Presets” box should appear. Once you get here, just double click on each of the three colored boxes and change them to whatever colors you’d like.
The good news is, I didn’t have to repeat this Gradient process in full for each individual Smoke layer. All you have to do is right click on the layer, select “Copy Layer Style”, click on another Smoke layer, right click and select “Paste Layer Style”.
All done! Here it is!