Business Header - Photoshop Tutorial

A curvy, layered corporate style header for a fictional office supply company.

This tutorial is aimed at beginning Photoshop users and makes heavy use of layer styles, basic shapes, and a little pen tool. I try to explain each step in detail.

  1. You will need a stock photo of some business people. Unfortunately, I could not find a decent free one, so I bought this image from Business people image. Here it is with a watermark. You can buy it for $1 if you want the watermark removed, or maybe you'll have better luck finding something free.

  2. Save this image and open it in Photoshop. You will now cut out the background the quick and dirty way. Using the Magic Wand tool with the settings shown, hold Shift while clicking just above and around each person's head until everything around them is selected. Setting the Tolerance lower will make the selections smaller (only pixels that are very similar in color), and holding Shift will add to your existing selection instead of creating a new one each time you click.

    Now hit the Backspace key to delete your selection, then Ctrl+D to remove the "marching ants." Use the Eraser tool to get rid of any remaining background fragments. Now double click the layer in the Layers Window and add a Inner Glow layer style with the opacity dropped to 50% and the color changed to white. This will get rid of jagged edges around the people.

  3. Hit Ctrl+A to select all of your image, then go to 'Edit > Copy Merged' to copy what you have. Create a new document, 780x127 px, and paste your selection in to the new image (Ctrl+P). Move it over to the right as shown.
  4. Double click the Background layer in the Layers Window, press ok when the message box pops up, then double click it again to bring up Layer Styles. Add a Gradient Overlay as shown:

    For this result:
  5. Create a new layer (which should automatically be above the background and below the people) and draw a Rectangle with the Rectangle tool. You will want to give it two Layer Styles. First, a Pattern overlay to make it look like a sheet of paper:

    Then a Drop Shadow to give it some depth:

    And it should look like this (bear in mind that I switched to the non-watermarked image in this step):
  6. Create a new layer and drag it above all other layers (in Layers Window), then draw this shape with the Pen tool. Follow the red text if you need help:

    Add a Gradient Overlay:

    For this look:
  7. Duplicate the Pen tool shape (select in Layers Window, then right click and select 'Duplicate Layer') and move it down about 10px. Drop the opacity of this layer to 10% (also in the Layers Window).

    Duplicate the new Pen tool shape and move it down about 10px.
  8. Now you will make an area for the logo. Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool (hold Shift while drawing to make a circle). First give it a Drop Shadow Layer Style:

    Then a Stroke Layer Style:

    Yielding this result:
  9. Now create some text. I used Futura Lt BT, 36pt. My fake company is called "Office Land." Let's give it a slight Drop Shadow Layer Style:

    And the text should look like this:

    Now select the Custom Shape tool, and choose the Paper Clip shape from the Objects group. See image for details:

    Now click and drag (while holding Shift to keep the correct proportions) to draw a paper clip on the image:
  10. Go to 'Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 degrees CW' and then move the paper clip up above the text, to make a simple logo:

  11. Now you will add some buttons to complete the header. Take the Rounded Rectangle tool and draw the following shape:
  12. Of course, we'll need some layer styles to complete the look. First, add a Gradient Overlay:

    And our old buddy, Drop Shadow:

    For a beautiful button like this one:
  13. Add some text over the button. For this I used Futura Lt BT again, this time 18pt text.
  14. Now simply duplicate your button and text layers (select both by Ctrl+Click ing each in the Layers Window, then right click and select 'Duplicate Layer' as you did earlier), make 6 copies and move them to the right, then change each text layer until you are happy.


Hey, don't know if you still

Hey, don't know if you still view this tutorial or not, but one step that would be really helpful is a note explaning that when you use the shape tools make sure that shape layers is selected and not the paths button in the options. I was stuck on that part for two days. A newbie wouldn't know about the path and shape layers button.

Thanks a lot for the tutorial however.


Nice tutorial. I like how the tabs turned out.
Well done


That's very nice tutorial i will keep checking for more nice articles like this one :)


It's really a Professional work.


so cool

really amazing tutorial thx

please help

hey please is possible to make those pictures like (paper, furniture, supplies, stuff, junk, link, contact) like hyperlinks.
again can i make them in photoshop already as a hyperlink? or i have to use whatever php html code to code it to link?
please respond only on ma email you will be really helpful

sincerely john_zizou

thank you.


I've spent a lot of time searching the internet for simple yet comprehensive tutorials on header design. This is by far the best I have seen. Great job!

Thanks for the compliments.

Thanks for the compliments. Let me know what else you'd like to see.

WOW!! Very Great

hi, this is really very great and fascinating, thanks for this share.

Patterns and Shapes

My photoshop does not have the paper pattern or the paperclip shape for drawing. Is there somewhere to download these as add-ins? And I think you did an excellent job explaining this process in terms a newbie can understand. Thank you!

Thanks for the compliment.

Thanks for the compliment. The paper clip is a default Photoshop shape and I don't know of a way to get them besides the default installation.


this is an amazing tutorial for a beginner like me thnkx alot!

wow..that's really amazing tutorial..thanks:)

Step 2

I like how you used the inner glow on step 2 to get rid of the!

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