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Mac Style Background in Photoshop


We start with a nice simple gradient. You can pick the colours – personally i used Hex #2fb8f3 to #355aae.

You can apply the gradient using the Gradient Tool (G) and dragging from top to bottom – or any which way you like to get your own effect.

Mac Background 1


Next we add a new layer by hitting Apple+Shift+N (CTRL+Shift+N on Windows) and fill it totally in the colour we want our final image to be based on. I chose a blue; #237dc3. Set its blend mode (found just above the layers pallet) to Colour. We do this so that all the effects we are about to make all retain the correct blue throughout the tutorial.


One of the many ‘Holy Grail’s’ of Photoshop is its ability to use vectors and create perfect curves. You can achieve these with the Pen Tool (P).

Practice by clicking a start point, then click somewhere else but hold the click down and drag away in a direction to create the curve. Once you are happy with drawing curves and random shapes with the pen tool try and copy what I’ve done below.

Mac Background 2


Now right click inside your path and hit create selection. This will bring up the familiar marching ants.

Mac Background 3

To create a glow effect first create a new layer then take a white brush (B) of a good size and set the hardness to 0px. This will make the brush very soft.

Carefully give your a selection a border in areas you want to achieve this effect.

Mac Background 4

This is what i created using the selection we drew earlier.

Mac Background 5


The next effect is going to be a faded corner. Repeating the shape drawing process from earlier I drew a curve and then created its selection.

Again create a New Layer and use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill from white to nothing.

Next set the Blend Mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to around 30%.

Mac Background 6

I then repeated the effect in the other top corner using a slightly darker fill on a new layer.

Mac Background 7


Here again i draw a corner shape in the bottom left corner using the Pen Tool (P).Mac Background 8

And create similar effect to step 5 using white to nothing gradient and an Overlay Blend Mode with an Opacity of 40%. Remember to use a new layer!

Mac Background 9


This step repeats Steps 3 and 4 to add a glowing border effect to a new shape in the bottom right.

Mac Background 10


To add the finishing touches to the image I have added a large white brush between the borders I created in step 7 and faded it to approx 35%. I have also added a tiny border to the curve in the top left and another smaller corner item.

Mac Background 11

You can use these techniques to create some fantastic looking backgrounds. Please post a link to yours below for everyone to see!