Photoshop – My Nemesis

Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever had as much trouble working with a program than I did these last couple of weeks! Photoshop and I don’t really get along. Thankfully, I have a coworker that is amazing with it and he helped me out a lot. I think if I had a lot of time to work with it and play around, I might end up liking Photoshop. For right now, it remains my evil nemesis. 

My work this week has been with a creative ad for a blog post and/or Facebook. I am really grateful the project had some parameters so I could focus my ideas and ad content. I was assigned a target audience and product to create an ad for. My audience is male, age 55-64, income of $60,000 – $89,000, in a relationship, and has an associate’s degree. My product was salt and pepper shakers. 

My Audience and Product

Picture of Man
My Audience

Looks about right, huh? This audience may or may not look just like this guy, but it is one that I have a little experience with. I have plenty of friends and coworkers right in that range. I usually associate salt and pepper shakers with my mother and women who cook a lot though, so there was a challenge to find the right product. I decided to go a little higher tech than your standard shakers:

Salt and Pepper Shakers
Salt and Pepper Shakers by Mira DeShazer

I figured my audience would rather have something more modern, sophisticated, and have some kind of “techy” feature. The set I chose automatically start grinding when they are tilted – pretty cool and only one hand needed to operate. They are perfect for grilling when turning and seasoning at the same time. I also liked the clean, stainless steel finish. They don’t look like your grandma’s salt and pepper shakers with chickens or fat little chefs painted on the side. 

Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

The Photography

As I was going over ideas, I tried to put some kind of action or adventure into the ad itself. Grilling, pirates, and hiking/mountain climbing came to mind. I settled on hiking mountains and the split mountain image was born. I used an image of a volcano for the pepper and a snowy peak for the salt. I love the contrast between the light and dark and the clouds that run across the top of both mountains. I thought it would be prefect to help make the two mountains blend together. Both original images are here:

Snowy Mountain
Snowy Mountain by vitaliymateha
Volcanic Eruption
Volcanic Eruption by Wead

I also wanted to use a person in the ad to emphasize the tagline I used. “Choose Your Own Adventure” needs a person there to make that choice. That person came from this photo:

Hiker in the Fog
Hiker in the Fog by Pexels


I chose an all caps strong font for my main tagline. Bebas Neue is a sans serif font and I feel it is strong and solid because of the lack of serifs. I also made the color of the font opposite for each half of the ad so that the opposition would create a greater contrast and attract the eye. The other font I chose was American Typewriter. It is a serif font that looks very much like newsprint. I felt this font would appeal to the practical side of consumers and it also reminds me of the type of font used in the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Those books were popular in the 80’s, so I felt my audience would be familiar with the reference.

The Final Ad

Creative Ad - Salt & Pepper Set
Creative Ad – Salt & Pepper Set

The final product turned out pretty awesome! I learned how to use a special brush to help create the salt and pepper falling from the shakers. I thought about trying to blend the center line between the two halves of the mountain, but I decided against it. Salt and pepper stay in separate containers for a reason – you have to be able to choose how much of each spice you use on your food. The two must remain separate for this ad as well. I do love how the mountains seem to blend together well on their own. There are ridges that connect across the midline that make it seem like the two mountains are one.


It may be that I will learn to love Photoshop one day. I don’t hate it as much as I did in the beginning, but I’m certain it was trying to defeat my best intentions for project. Maybe I’ll try some pictures of a warmer climate next time. That may help….



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