Prepare your Key Visual PSD file for production

Goal: Prepare the approved Key Visual PSD for production

Below is an example of a key visual strategically flattened to go from creative phase to production phase.


Once the creative process is complete and the key visual has been approved, it is time to transition to production phase.





Production ready PSD

  • Production ready PSD means only layers containing content-related information should stay editable. We’ll call these content components

  • Layers should be grouped into compositional elements, so compositional consistency can be achieved no matter the size or proportion. We’ll call these composition components





Step 1: Clean up your PSD. Delete empty layers and name unnamed layers.

  • At the top of the Layers palette, select the filter Attribute > Empty, and delete these layers

Step 2: Rasterize layer effects, apply layer masks & merge adjustment layers

  • When resizing and scaling elements, effects like drop shadows or strokes may not always scale proportionally with the layer. Therefore it is best to remove as many effects as possible before re-sizing.

Layer mask is another layer element that can cause problems when re-sizing. We recommend removing/applying all masks.

Merge layers

In the example provided, we’re going to merge layers to create the two types of components we mentioned earlier.

Content components are going to be:

  • Product images
  • Product descriptions

Compositional components are going to be:

  • Background
  • Platforms
  • Headline






When merging layers with blending modes and transparencies and getting color changes, there are two things you can try:

  • Merging different combinations of layers and in different order may prevent color changes
  • If all else fails, copy visible pixels and paste onto a new layer:

    • Select layers you’d like to merge and hide all other layers

    • Edit > Copy merged

    • Create new layer and Paste






Example of how to prepare a complex Photoshop file for production


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