Tutorial: Newspond menu on Fireworks - Part 1

Today we begin a new series of tutorials, about layouts developing for web, from design creation to CSS coding. These tutorials will come in 2 parts: 1 - Layout; 2 - CSS.

But our difference is that we're going to unveal and develop the tutorials about existing websites. Probably our steps won't be the same used to built these sites, but the idea is to simply show you guys how to get really close to the original layout.

To begin the series, our first post is about the Newspond menu. The colors and effects are smooth and really modern. And it was the little details in the design that called our attention and made us decide to use it as our first tutorial

We're going to use Fireworks to develop all the design, the steps are simple, but it's the adjustments and gradients that will make the difference in the final result.


To begin, open a new document with dimensios 1000x660. Pick #595D67 for background color.


Make a 1010x100 rectangle, and apply a gradient that goes from #3F444D to #000000. Position it at X=-5 and Y=0 (This X position will help our next step).


Apply Filter > Inner Shadow, and pick this values as in the image: 0, 90%, 5.


Now, let's make the menu. Create a 830x30 rectangle, centralize it on the stage and position it at Y=100. Apply the linear gradient using the colors as in the image.


Bow let's creat the content area background. Create a rectangle and apply a linear gradient that goes from #434752 to #000000. Move the gradient as shown. This will do to make the shadow bellow the menu.


Move the rectangle layer to under all the others and apply Filter > Drop Shadow, with the values: 0, 90%, 7.


Write some texts in the menu to use as links. Here we use 4, but you may use as many as you want. After that, draw a #9EA8B2 line at the top of the rectangle. This will make the menu pop out.


Now, let's creat the background of active links. Create a rectangle and apply a linear gradient that goes from #000000 to #434752. Position the gradient as shown. You can see in the detail that we've created a #555C68 line above the rectangle.


Now, we're gonna create the lines that will separete each menu link. We are also going to align the links within the menu. Follow the steps bellow creating the lines (notice that besides the colors, you most group the lines and apply a 40% opacity), then creating the guide lines leaving a 30px space from the border, adjust the spacing e for last create an extra link right aligned to the menu.


Create the small border gradients. Create a 20x30 rectangle. Apply a linear gradiente in the horizontal position with the colors and opacity shown (notice the Feather=2). After that, copy it to the other side and apply a modify > trasnform > flip horizontal.


We're almost done. Let's make the menu pop out a little bit more, by creating a stronger shadow beneath it. To do that, i've created an #000000 ellipse with Feather = 33. Move this ellipse layer towards the bottom, just above the rectangle that will be the content body.


Now all we gotta do is create some content in the central body. You may display the content however you wish. We've used some text blocks in order to get a little bit close to the original site. Besises that, put your logo at the top. You may create a #BCC9D9 ellipse with Feather = 75 and put it beneath the logo to make it shine.


You can download the sample file HERE (196kb). Hope you all liked it.

Author: Fabiano Meneghetti | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]abduzeedo.com

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