Cooking with Photoshop: The Making of the Alberto Seveso Cover
When we asked Alberto Seveso to design the cover for Inspire’s [the former name of Adobe Create magazine] celebration of Photoshop’s 25th anniversary, his response was simple: “It is for the birthday of my favorite software, cool.” Then the uncertainty set in.
“I had a lot of freedom, which may seem easy,” Alberto says. “But it’s difficult to celebrate software that everyone in our field knows and uses.”
A LONGTIME PHOTOSHOP USER
Alberto, who now lives in the United Kingdom, was born and raised on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. He encountered Photoshop 14 years ago. “I had an old Commodore Amiga 1200,” he says, “and the software for this computer was really slow. One day a friend showed me Photoshop, and I was very impressed.”
Alberto is self-taught. Correction: He did go to school, but it was culinary school. “I am definitely a better cook than I am a graphic designer,” he laughs. Given the many big-name clients in his design portfolio, he must be some chef.
CREATING THE COVER
After Adobe creative director Kashka Pregowska-Czerw gave Alberto the cover assignment, he thought back to his early days with Photoshop. “Like many people when they start,” he recalls, “I used the simple features.”
“Now, I often use a lot of layers. This time I was reluctant to do that,” he says. “I didn’t want to overcomplicate it. I wanted to use just a few tools, a handful of filters.”
He began with a photo of a woman’s face, a common starting point for Alberto. On the right side of the cover image is a photo of dyes dropped into liquid, another common theme in Alberto’s work. He was inspired by Photoshop’s Wind filter, as you can see by the breeze effect on the left side of the image.
It sounds so simple: Alberto composited two photos, threw in a wind treatment, and added the word “INSPIRE” with a “P” colored to evoke the Photoshop mnemonic—and he was done.
But as in cooking, a simple process can yield great results when a skilled creator uses high-quality ingredients.