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Design a Cool Pixelated Website Layout

Design a Cool Pixelated Website Layout

Resources Used In This Tutorial

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Create a new document (1000X1000px).

Now create some guides to help lay out your design. Set out vertical guides at 50px and 950px and a horizontal guide at 500px.

Step 2

Create a new layer called ‘header’. Now select the top 500px of your design, and fill it with a linear gradient ranging from hex code ebeaeb to f5f5f5.

Now create a new layer called ‘dark footer’. Select the bottom 500px of your canvas and fill it with 1c1c1c.

Step 3

Now create a new layer called ‘clouds pixelated’.

With this layer active, option+click on your ‘header’ layer in your layers palette. This will select the header area. With your selection in place, go to filter>render>clouds (ensuring your foreground color is black, and the background is white).

Now reduce the opacity of your cloud layer to 20%.

Now go to filter>pixelate>mosaic. Now apply a cell size: 25 square. Hit ok, and you should have a nice pixelated header effect:

Step 4

Now select your lasso tool, and ensure it has a 50px feather. Then make a selection in the bottom right of your canvas.

Then apply some clouds to this area, and then repeat step 3 to create a nice pixelated footer area:

Step 5

Now download our clouds brush set (see the resources section for this tutorial).

Create a new layer called ‘clouds’. Apply the clouds using a black paintbrush over your header area.

Now reduce your cloud layer’s opacity to around 20%:

Step 6

Cut out and paste in a photo of a jumping dancer.

Now duplicate your dancer, moving the duplicate layer beneath the original.

Resize the underlying layer to make it slightly smaller than the original, and then apply a mosaic filter (15 square strength) to achieve a cool pixelated effect:

Finally, reduce this pixelated layer’s opacity to 35%. This creates a subtle backdrop effect.

Step 7

We want to make our dancer really pop, so create a layer beneath both dancer layers called ‘highlight’. Drag out a white to transparent radial gradient from the side of your dancer. This should help push the dancer forward.

Step 8

Now apply some text in the top left of your canvas, using your guides. This will act as your logo text.

Logo Font Settings:

Font Face: St Atmos Free
Size: 72pt
Color: 000000
Kerning: 0
Styling: Normal

Now apply a couple of blending options to your text to make it more interesting.

Inner Shadow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Multiply
Color: 000000
Opacity: 50%
Angle: 120
Distance: 1px
Choke: 0%
Size: 1px

Gradient Overlay Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%
Gradient: 000000 to 444444.

Step 9

Now apply some text under your logo, including menu text, header text, and welcome area text. I’ve laid out the text settings for each area below:

Menu Text Settings:

Font Face: Georgia
Size: 18pt
Kerning: 50
Color: 000000

Headline Text Settings:

Font Face: Georgia
Size: 36pt
Kerning: 50
Color: 515151

Welcome Area Text Settings:

Font Face: Georgia
Size: 18pt
Kerning: 0
Color: 505050

Step 10

Now apply a button behind your ‘want to work with me?’ text.

I chose a rounded rectangle shape (35px radius) filled with a gradient ranging from 24a9da to 00729d.

Now option+click on your button in your layer’s palette, and with your selection in place create a new layer called ‘pixels button’.

Repeat your pixelated cloud technique, first applying a cloud render, and then a mosaic effect. Finally, change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ to create a cool lighting effect for your button:

Step 11

Now create a new layer called ‘arrow’. Use your lasso tool to create a dark gray arrow coming up from the footer area:

Step 12

Now apply some watermark style text at the top of your footer.

Footer Text Settings:

Font Face: Georgia
Size: 60pt
Kerning: 50
Color: 313131

Step 13

Now use your guides to paste in some examples of your best design work:

Step 14

Finally apply some text beneath each screenshot, as well as a general copyright notice.

Also use your line tool to create a 1px line above your copyright notice.

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Download Source File for this Tutorial

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. very good web design, love the color theme and seems pretty easy to code as well!

  2. Frank Justesen says:

    I really like your design – and Sorry for asking stupid – But I am a newcomer and wonder where on this page are the “hyperlink”: “home , services , contact etc ? I see the boxes but dont think they are connected to any link ?

    English is not my mother tongue.

    Best wishes – Frank

    • Tom says:

      Hi Frank, this is merely a .psd design. The design must be coded into a functioning website in order for the links to actually go somewhere.

  3. Chris says:

    Very nice Tom, great design and you make it look very easy!

  4. Maria says:

    Loved the pixelated effect.

  5. The great design, thank you for your hard work, please keep it up. I’ve found a lot of information which will help all who wants to design a website.

  6. That gives me some ideas, I Stumbled it.

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