Hi, I’m Lu! Welcome to the L.A.S!
Scroll down to check new products and posts. You can use the menu above to navigate through the categories and pages. Have fun ⟡
  • Help protect LGBTQI+ lives
  • Black Lives Matter
  • We should all be feminists
  • Categories
    Graphic Design

    3 graphic design mistakes to stop making NOW! ⚠

    Hey guys! I have many readers who either are graphic designers or do it sporadically for fun or work. So for a while I’ve been planning to post here on the blog and on my Insta a few mistakes I’ve been seen way to often and that could easily be avoided.

    Now, you always have to remember that design is not and never will be an exact science. So there are situations where these mistakes I mention do not apply, and actually the opposite is true. Knowing when exactly you should consider these types of rules and when you should ignore them is a big challenge that designers learn with experience and lots of trial and error. So… good luck! 😬

    But don’t worry about that now! Let’s focus on these super avoidable mistakes and, for now, do our best not to make them anymore!


    New on the shop:


    Common graphic design mistakes

    This is a constant struggle in pretty much every graphic design job in the world ever haha! And in the end, we have to get used to sacrificing the art part of the design a bit in order to make sure the message you’re trying to deliver (and most importantly, the product you’re trying to sell) is understandable immediately by the audience. Yes, that’s priority, it will always be.

    So go ahead and place some boxes behind the text if necessary, or rethink the design in a way that the written parts are not getting lost and mixed with the photo below it. You’ll find a solution, you’re a great designer. And great designer knows that the message comes first, and the art comes second.


    I’m guilty of this sin myself, I know. Even here on the blog and on my social media, I’ve used unlicensed images and graphics when I knew damn well I shouldn’t, even if just to illustrate my blog posts. But I don’t anymore, and no one should.

    It might be tempting to use those beautiful photos and art pieces we find on Pinterest and even Instagram but it’s wrong, and it’s damaging someone who created it. Also, in most cases, those images are poor in quality, because you can’t download a high resolution version of them.

    There are countless image and illustration banks available online, many of them with stunningly beautiful items for free, and some very affordable options with everything a designer might need. So let’s all get used to doing the right thing, period. Are you guys with me? 😊


    Last but not least, let’s talk about cohesive style. This is a no brainer, but at the same time, a mistake that happens very often on social media marketing strategies. Everybody wants to keep their aesthetic consistent, but it’s easier said (and dreamt of) than done, right?

    I’ve been jumping from style to style for a while now, and I’m supposed to be the one who knows about this and stuff haha! But considering all the challenges I’ve had myself at not being able to find the exact style I want for my brand, this is the advice I can give: try not to commit to a style or elements that are too specific. It will limit you, block your content flow and your whole aesthetic might end up looking a bit cold (not natural) or boring.

    Some design inspo to wrap up the post:


    I hope these tips are useful! I’d love to know what you guys think about these and other common design mistakes we all make at some point. Let me know! 🌷

    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design Instagram

    How to use the shop themes and have your Instagram feed looking exactly like the theme you got

    Girls,

    Some of you have asked me how exactly are you going to be able to make your insta feeds look like the themes you’ve purchased in our design shop. I know there’s a few questions especially from those who are not used to the graphic design universe yet 😌💖

    To make it easy to explain, I am creating this very straight forward educational post. I will clarify point by point how the repagination of your feed will happen, using the products you purchase at the store.

    So let’s get to it!


    Product: VSCO filter preset + 70 images

    Filter

    The VSCO filter will be described in an image (like the one above), with the exact configuration that you should do on VSCO to give all your images the same aesthetic as the purchased theme.

    How to use it : Download the VSCO app (it’s free!) and follow the instructions on the image. After you make these edits to the first photo, just click on it, go to the bottom right button on VSCO, and hit ‘copy’. Next, select all the other photos that you want to apply that same filter to, and hit “paste edits”.

    Can I change it? Yes. If you want to make any changes to the filter (for example: the filter is more bluish than you would like, it’s kind of dark for your taste, etc.) just make your own adjustments and, in the same way as I mentioned above, copy the filter and paste into the other photos.

    I also recommend reading my posts on organizing and revamping your feed. To fully understand the importance of editing your photos in a very harmonic way before posting.

    70 images

    In the same product, there’s an image kit with 70 generic (and beautiful) high-resolution photos ready to post.

    How to use it: All you need to do is send the photos from your computer to your phone and post each one when you feel like it. You can plan your feed using an app like Unum or Preview, or if you prefer to use Photoshop, you can get this feed planner template from the store the store that is suitable for that.

    Tip: Combine the pics from the themes with your own. Since you’ll use the VSCO filter you’ve purchased, your images will have the same coloring as the images from the pack.

    With the above product (filter + images), you already have everything you need to have the feed of your dreams. Just use the filter correctly and plan your posts nicely 🙂

    Other cool products to complement your feed:


    Product: Breathers

    Breathers are posts containing phrases or illustrations to use from time to time on your feed. They make your feed look beautiful and harmonious, and help to reinforce your aesthetic.

    How to use them: Just like the 70 image pack, the breathers only need to be downloaded and opened on your computer, and then sent to your phone. You can post them when you prefer.


    Product: Collage kit

    The collage kit comes with 100 items including illustrations, short quotes, cut out photos, “tapes” among other cute little things.

    How to use it: Create your collages using Canva (free app, but on the computer is much better), Photoshop or your favorite image editing program. In the video above you can see how easy it is!

    If you have purchased the first product I mentioned in this post (filter + images), you can apply the filter to any image of yours, and include it on the collage, so that all elements have the same color 😉

    In addition to collages, you can also create minimalist posts with this product. Use a solid background color, or a pretty texture, and position an image form the kit centered 🙂


    Product: Instagram Puzzle feed template

    Puzzle feeds are feeds in mosaic style, with the images of the posts connecting with each other forming a complete design.

    How to use it: Puzzle feed templates can only be edited with Photoshop on the computer. So you need to have some basic knowledge of how to use the program to edit it. If you have this familiarity with ps, it’s a piece of cake: just download your product, open it, and insert your images in the sections corresponding to each post using clipping masks, just like in the video above 🙂


    I think that’s it, guys 🌻🌻

    Let me know if you have any questions! You can write here on the comments so that they can help others as well. Instagram DMs may not be answered because it’s hard to keep up with all the messages there. Safer to write to me here, ok?

    Shop this post

    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design Instagram

    3 ways to give new life to old travel photos ⛵✨

    Everyday is throwback day during quarantine, I’m I right?

    I’ve been seeing more travel pics on my feed lately than back when people were actually allowed to take trips haha!

    So let’s think of creative ways to post old travel photos and make them special, shall we?

    Here are 3 ideas I came up with. They work for new photos too, of course, and not only from trips, but any other special moment or theme you chose 💖💖

    I love the kodak film strip frames and the retro cool effect it gives to my pics. I’ve even uploaded a tiny pack of them on the store (after so many of you’ve requested it) so you can get this one for yourself right now 🙂


    This is just so easy to create and is guaranteed to impress your followers and get you tons of likes. And what’s more important, it’s a super cute and fun way to show the vibe of your trip. My advice is to pick from 20 to 30 images and set each frame to 0.1 second. I know it’s fast, but it’s supposed to be an exciting summary of your adventure, not a lame slideshow.. haha! I hope you know what I mean…

    Here’s a video with the step by step:


    This idea might look obvious, but the secret is selecting the right images and doing a careful cropping/editing. A collage like this using obvious boring photos might not look so interesting. But choosing special, unusual images full of emotions and soul (read more about those here) will make your collage look AMAZING!


    ⟡ Get this theme! ⟡


    Hope this helps! Here’s the instagram post I made if you want to save it for later 😉

    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design Instagram

    How I create my feeds using Photoshop

    Finally, I know! 🙏🏽🌻

    Here is the post many of you have asked for, and I’ve been meaning to write for so long!

    Creating Instagram feeds using photoshop

    1. I do all my feed planning on Photoshop. Being a designer, I strongly believe that it’s the best way to place and edit each and every element of the feed design having them all visible and editable on one big file, having Photoshop’s super advanced tools at hand.

    2. The files I use are 4000X8111 px (feed + highlights) or 4000X6690 (feed only). The file is filled with squares reproducing an Instagram grid, where I place my images. I also create lines above the rectangles dividing the posts,

    3. When I’m creating puzzle feeds I don’t use the squares, I just place the elements all around the canvas, and the dividing lines on top of them help me visualize de edges defining each post.

    4. I usually apply the edits after all the images are placed. Sometimes I use actions, sometimes I edit them manually step by step to get a nice unified aesthetic to the whole feed.

    5. Once the design is ready, I crop and export each post. I do that by duplicating the whole file (Image / Duplicate), flattening it, and cropping square by square 🙂

    6. I’ve uploaded a Photoshop template on the store for just $2 so you can have a good starting point, and only worry about designing your awesome feed! Here you go:


    Checkout these videos I’ve made of the process. They’re timelapses, not tutorials, but following the tutorial I described above it’s easy to follow:

    Get this feed here!


    Get this feed here!


    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions 😉💕〰

    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design Instagram Social media

    Instagram Highlight covers design ideas

    Hello there! 🦔💕

    If you’re working to improve your Instagram’s design in a cohesive and unique way, you’ve probably considered matching the highlight covers to your whole aesthetic. They’re perfect to accentuate even more the style you’re going for, no doubt about it!

    So here’s a few design ideas I came up with, that I think you should consider. There are so many cute options!

    Instagram highlight cover design ideas

    Icons are the most common highlight cover images out there, but still a great option. My suggestion here is to combine them with custom fonts on the highlight’s names, to give it more of a personal touch!

    Get these highlights: ⟡


    This is the design I chose for my own Insta! Instead of an image, I use a custom text on the cover. In the name, since the highlight is already described above, I use a decorative symbol. So cool 🙂

    Get these highlights: ⟡


    I know how you guys love cute minimalistic sparkly things haha! So this is def gonna be a fav, I’m sure. You can use your favorite texture, just placing it in different positions in each cover. As for the name, a single emoji is enough. If you use a nice combination of colors or any pattern you like between emojis and texture, it’ll look fabulous!

    💖 These textures will be available in the shop soon 🙂


    Last but not least, you can use beautiful photos in the covers as well. Even better if the photos are super minimal, very bright and with the same filter/aesthetic as the rest of your feed!

    Get these photos: ⟡


    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design

    How to create a mood board using the 5 components hack

    Let’s talk about mood boards! 🤹🏽

    They’re so fun to create, and they can be extremely useful as a visual presentation of ideas and feelings.

    If you feel a bit lost or if you’re never sure how to start, I think these 5 components can be of great help to guide you through the development of your board.


    1) 🎯 Focus: Broadly, what is this mood board about? Could be fashion, architecture, lifestyle, health, art… or simply your feelings!

    2) 💭 Theme: A decor mood board, for example, can have different themes. Victorian, Scandinavian, children’s bedrooms, diy, red furniture… So here’s where you narrow it down to a more certain subject.

    3) 🎭 Mood: Now you’ll make this mood board 100% your own. Try to define a specific mood for the theme you’ve picked. A girls bedroom decor board can have a fun upbeat mood, or a romantic peaceful one, or a flora & fauna natural vibe, etc.

    4) 🎨 Color scheme: You don’t need to set a specific color palette for your board. You should, if it makes sense, but color coordination is not always necessary in a mood board. Always ask yourself though if there’s a color scheme you’d like to focus on more, or if there’s colors you want to avoid.

    5) 💃🏽 Muse: This component helps me so much! I get inspired by real people, elements of nature, animals, even objects. The muse doesn’t have to be present in the board. It’s rather who you’d be creating this for, or simply the source of inspiration for the images you’ll pick.

    Swipe through the Insta post below to see the examples I created:

    View this post on Instagram

    Let’s talk about mood boards! 🤹🏽They’re so fun to create, and they can be extremely useful as a visual presentation of ideas and feelings. If you feel a bit lost or if you’re never sure how to start, I think these 5 components can be of great help to guide you through the development of your board. Swipe to see examples! . 1️⃣ Focus: Broadly, what is this mood board about? Could be fashion, architecture, lifestyle, health, art… or simply your feelings! . 2️⃣ Theme: A decor mood board, for example, can have different themes. Victorian, Scandinavian, children’s bedrooms, diy, red furniture… So here’s where you narrow it down to a more certain subject. . 3️⃣ Mood: Now you’ll make this mood board 100% your own. Try to define a specific mood for the theme you’ve picked. A girls bedroom decor board can have a fun upbeat mood, or a romantic peaceful one, or a flora & fauna natural vibe, etc. . 4️⃣ Color scheme: You don’t need to set a specific color palette for your board. You should, if it makes sense, but color coordination is not always necessary in a mood board. Always ask yourself though if there’s a color scheme you’d like to focus on more, or if there’s colors you want to avoid. . 5️⃣ Muse: This component helps me so much! I get inspired by real people, elements of nature, animals, even objects. The muse doesn’t have to be present in the board. It’s rather who you’d be creating this for, or simply the source of inspiration for the images you’ll pick. . #graphicdesigntips #moodboarding #inspirationboard #creativeprocess #graphicdesigntutorial #instagramfeed #pinkaesthetics #luamaralstudio

    A post shared by Lu Amaral • Graphic Design (@luamaralstudio) on

    Let me know what you think of this creative trick 🙂

    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Feeds Graphic Design Instagram

    Instagram feed theme: Bliss

    Hey! 😌✌🏽

    Welcome back to my blog guys, how are you all doing?

    This is such a special feed I’ve design and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I’ve started designing full themes for the store, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. And this is one of my favorites without a doubt.

    This is Bliss, a boho, free spirit, nature inspired theme with soft neutral tones, bright backgrounds, touches of gold and green and a super special overall feminine indie aesthetics. I love how it’s clean and minimal, but not boring at all 🌿🌙🤎

    My priority when creating my themes is giving them personality and uniqueness. I’m not in this business to create bland basic stuff, and I know you aren’t either! hahaha!

    So check it ou below:


    If you love the Bliss theme, you can purchase the Photoshop templates for the designs and the highlights at the dollar store:

    The social media posts can be used not only on Instagram, but anywhere you’d like. On the Bliss feed you can see how I adapted the templates to create different post designs ✨


    There will be more items from this theme coming up soon, as well as from the other themes. So stay tuned! 🙏🏽💚

    I really hope you guys like this. Please let me know if you have any questions, ok?

    See you again soon.

    Beijos,

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design

    How to create a clipping mask: LAS Photoshop essentials

    Hey there guys,

    Quick intro: I’ll post a series of Photoshop essential tools and tricks starting with this one. There won’t be any long, difficult advanced tutorials in this series, only quick, easy and straight to the point guides on how to do stuff 🦄🦄🦄

    I use clipping masks A LOT, and if you’ve purchased any of the LAS Dollar Store products, there’s a good chance you’ll need to know how clipping masks work to be able to edit your templates.

    What is a clipping mask?

    🎯 Clipping masks are an easy way to put one image “inside”another to change its visible shape. For example, you put a photo of you and your boyfriend inside a heart shaped image. So your photo will now have the shape of a heart. Best thing is you can still move the photo around as much as you want, to reposition it, resize it, etc. The clipping mask doesn’t crop the photo 🙂

    That’s how I create my Instagram feeds on Photoshop! I use 15 squares as the foundation of the design, and whatever content I want to use in the posts, I create clipping masks within those squares in a way I can adjust them freely, always keeping the square shape intact. Check it out:

    How to create a clipping mask on Photoshop

    To create a clipping mask is ridiculously easy haha!

    Just place the layer on top of the one you want to insert it into, right click the top layer, and hit Create clipping mask.

    Boom.

    You can go through the same steps to release the object from the clipping mask too 🤹🏽‍♀️🧡💜❤

    Pleaseee let me know if you have any questions here on the comments (no DMs, I rarely check them) and I’d love to answer them like instantly haha

    beijos!

    Lu

    Categories
    Graphic Design Social media

    How to design social media posts using ONLY PowerPoint

    Hey guys! I’m so excited to finally publish the second post of my glitter girl series. I’ve been working for a few days on it, and just like the first post, I think the result is super special and unique 💖☺

    The goal here is to teach you how to create social media posts using PowerPoint. For those of you who are not designers, but need or want to design your own stuff! Either because you can’t afford to hire a designer, or because you just like having fun with design, but with zero intention of learning how to use apps or Photoshop.

    And let me be very honest here: PowerPoint is an excellent tool to create any type of design, including beautiful social media posts. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise!

    So in this quick tutorial I showed a simple example that is guaranteed to work for many purposes. And yes, I did use Google Slides instead of PPT, because no, I don’t have PowerPoint installed on my computer hahaha, but don’t worry about that, the it doesn’t change anything in the end hahah!

    💎 If you want to check the brand book template I mention on the second slide, this is the post. I strongly recommend you invest some time working on yours! You’ll see how much it’ll help you on your marketing and social media strategies and pretty much everything related to your branding.

    Also, as I promised in the Instagram post, here’s the link to download the open file with the 6 templates I’ve created. Since I used Google Slides on a Mac, I can’t say for sure all the fonts will work for you depending on your computer system or software. But the templates should work fine on PowerPoint, I’ve tested here and had no difficulties! If any of the fonts change, you can find a cute one to replace it.

    Here are the final designs if you want to take a look. I used the same structure on all of them to show how this tutorial can be used for different aesthetics:

    Thank you for the visit guys, please let me know what you’d like me to post about in the future so I can prepare content you’ll find useful, ok?

    Beijos!

    Lu