Step 2 – Noisy background
It’s going to be pretty easy step. Noisy backgrounds are quite popular these days (hmpf) and you probably have done more than one before this, but anyway I will show you how I am achieving them. Noisy backgrounds make design a bit grungy and they perfectly fit to solid colored shapes. Truly, they are overused. You can see them in most of modern designs. However, if they were bad, they wouldn’t be used, right? Slight noise is really old trick, and it didn’t came as design trend of 2008 or 2009. It is old as… it’s just really old. Every digital painter knows the power of texturing which noise is really simple kind of. And texturing in web design existed for a long of time as well. I think noises gets massive because of it’s ease of creation. Not only you get texture, it is also seamless, for sure. Alright, let’s make some noisy pixels. First of all, create a new layer and fill the whole area (SHIFT+F5 / Edit > Fill) with some light color like #efefef. Then go to (surprisingly?) Filter > Noise > Add Noise and type into input box something like 2.5px, set distribution to uniform and check monochromatic. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use 0.5 pixels radius. And that’s it.
You can eventually go to Filter > Brush strokes > Accented edges and again to Filter > noise > Add noise (same settings as before) so you will have more organic texture. But here I will use first one.
Step 3 – Header background
First off, start with a horizontal guide. Level it on a height you want your header to be. I didn’t measured it really, just placed by eye. We will hold there nothing more but logo and search form. We need to be sure it will fit. Then make a shape, rasterize it later on (right click on layer in layers window and choose rasterize) and add a bit of noise as well to this shape (like 1.5-2.5 of percentage amount with monochromatic).
Then make a selection like this one…
…and fill it with gradient of some lighter color so you will get something like this.
Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur and blur it a little (radius on 6-10 pixels) so you will have smooth edge like here.
Use eraser tool and erase boundary parts so you will leave gradient only in the center. Use soft brush to do that. Here’s a tip: Make first erases with 100% opacity to smooth the edges and then lower it to 30% and make even smoother, long transition.
Now create a selection of base header’s shape, pick some dark gray color and add really small gradient on bottom. On the image below you can see gradient with 100% opacity. I lowered it later to 33% so it is really slightly visible.
And add another gradient on top. You don’t have to make a selection here for it will won’t extend the shapes boundaries for sure. Notice the start and end points of that linear gradient. Thanks to their places gradient will take a bit strong look.
I have added another- this time radial- gradient on the header background. Then deleted the part of top’s shadow (CTRL+Click on layer in layer’s window and hit delete). Oh, of course you are creating everything on separate layers. As you can see I have added some texture to the gradient, but actually don’t bother to that. It will be mostly unnoticeable. It’s just my habit to make gradients without pixel bounding. You can instead use Filter > Noise > Add noise so you will get similar (a bit weaker) effect.
Then change this gradient’s opacity to 55% and blending mode to Overlay.
The header is finished. Now we’re heading to add some logo and search form to it.