Creating a Calendar Icon in Photoshop

I need a little calendar icon to replace a “new” icon for the calendar I created for the Highland Park Public Library. The calendar is no longer new (I created it in 2006).

I could have looked for a calendar icon. But I would need one that I have permission to use. I found one almost immediately in Google Images that I did not have permission to use. The calendar had been photographed at an angle. I decided it would take less time to create one on my own then search for a fitting one.

I took about five photographs of the calendar near my desk. Here’s the one I chose:

Do you see a lot of extra “stuff” in the photo? Here’s how I eliminated what I didn’t want:

First of all, I cropped out much of the sides of the photo. I just needed a few dates. Also, it happened to be a calendar from my kids’ school, and thus it had Hebrew dates. I didn’t need those, and so I used the clone stamp to eliminate the dates. The clone stamp is a great tool to know well: you just alt-click on the area you want to copy, then click and drag to copy it to the area you don’t want seen.

Then, as the photo is a bit dark, I lightened it and increased the contrast using Edit–>Adjustments–>Brightness/Contrast.

As it still looked a bit dull, I applied a bluish green photo filter, with
Edit–>Adjustments–>Photo Filter

Here are the three icons, from dark gray to light gray to greenish blue:

   calendar_icon_dark   calendar_gray   calendar_bluish

I used the pencil tool to add more emphasis to the lines. And I selected the numbers with the magic wand tool to darken those:

Final step: a wonderful filter tool called Reduce Noise (Filter–>Noise–>Reduce Noise):

You might say, oh, that’s a tiny little thing, but I do find it fits well on the library’s events page.

12 thoughts on “Creating a Calendar Icon in Photoshop

  • Very nice, and it does look good on the library’s event page!
    (Before I read to the end, I was wondering what you were going to do about the Hebrew dates…)

  • Mrs. S. It was funny, the Hebrew date problem. I bet you won’t find that on most Photoshop tutorials. The clone stamp tool makes using all sorts of images possible. You can use it to Photoshop out some ex-relative that is no longer part of the family, for example!

  • Nice job, Leora! I particularly like how you’ve walked us through the process with you. What’s nice is that it’s illustrated (heh!) how you don’t need to be able to draw to create a great image.

    I used to be a fervent supporter of Jasc’s Paintshop Pro, a Photoshop look and feel alike. But it was bought by Corel, and I think it went downhill. I should look for a free replacement for this. I often use Irfanview for minor photo manipulation. Many recommend Gimp, the open-source graphics software.

    • Thanks, Graham. I should write more of these tutorials. I read some on other blogs, and I think, I can write those (and better, more clearly, and answer questions, too).

      As GIMP is by the GNU folks, I’m sure it’s good. I knew about GNU back when it was new (do you hear the singsong?).

  • Yes, you should do some more tutorials! I especially liked the commentary – your thought process – in addition to the instructions.

    My biggest barrier to producing my own graphics (apart from lack of artistic talent – HA!) is that I’m colorblind (like 1 in 10 men – much fewer women). Can cause some problems.

    • One of the Rutgers professors for whom I do work is colorblind. Sometimes that helps, because he sees differently than most of us, so he can give feedback on how it looks to him.

      You need sharp contrasts in value in graphics. We color-loving folks need to remember that.

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