Add vector design elements to your photographic images using the shape tools in Adobe Photoshop.
Start with some simple shapes, and then combine them to create more complex art using simple techniques.
Note: Watch Create a graphic shape to learn the basics.
- Select the Rectangle tool. In the Options bar, choose the Combine Shapes option.
- Click and drag on the canvas to draw a rectangle. Tip: Press the spacebar before you release your mouse to adjust the position of the rectangle.
- Draw two more rectangles, each a bit narrower and taller than the previous one as shown.
- Select the tallest rectangle and adjust any corner radius in the Properties panel. (This adjusts all four corners at once because they are constrained by the link button.) Drag until you have completely rounded sides.
- To reposition a shape, choose the Path Selection tool. Select a shape, and then rearrange it.
- You can also manipulate individual points or sides. Choose the Direct Selection tool and click an individual point; press Shift to select additional points. Once selected, you can adjust them at once. Tip: Use the Arrow keys to move selected points easily.
- With some points selected, press Control+T (Windows) or Command+T (macOS) to access Free Transform to scale, skew, rotate, and more.
- When you’re ready to style the shape, click the Fill Color thumbnail in the Options bar and set it to None. Click the Stroke Color thumbnail and click the Color Picker icon in the top right corner. Tip: To pick a color from the image itself, move your cursor over the image and click to sample a color. Adjust the color in the Color Picker. Finally, adjust the Stroke width in the Options bar.
- Experiment with the shape layer’s blending mode to unify your vector design and photographic background. Reduce the shape layer’s opacity if needed. Tip: Press a number between 1 and 9 to quickly lower opacity.
- Save your artwork for its final use.
Contributor: Joseph T