Long Winded Lightroom Tip: Personalize the Identity Plate

Looking to enhance your Lightroom experience?

 

It’s not that hard… and with some graphical know-how, you can make some graphic magic happen.

Simply put, choose “Lightroom > Identity Plate Setup” (Mac OS) or “Edit > Identity Plate Setup” (Windows) and type in your name, website address, or any other simple word pairing and get back to business

However, I’m sure you’re looking for something more, am I right?… good… let’s turn it up a level and start with Step 1 below…

Before you move forward though, you’re going to need an extra tool. Something like as Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, Affinity Designer, Gimp (free), Inkscape (free), etc… even Microsoft Paint “can” work. Anyway, I bring this up now, because, you’ll need a way to arrange the graphics, wavy lines, text, or whatever, within a limited space.

STEP 1

Create a New Graphic

Open up your favorite design application (Illustrator, Affinity Designer, Photoshop, Gimp, Paint, etc…) and set up a new document. Everything below happens there.

Document Dimensions: Maximum space 750px x 45px (150 dpi or less // You don’t have to go crazy with dpi. Small files = Good)

  • This is the best size for MY graphic file. This may vary with your setup – follow through the steps and scale it later if necessary.
  • Important: Lightroom will treat any image file (jpg/png) at true-size.
    • If you create a 2000x100 image, it will reflect at 2000x100 on your screen!

This can be a single logo, multiple logos, fun icons, text, wavy lines, or a mix of everything. I never thought about it till now, but maybe even a VERY wide picture or collage of pictures, lol… Just keep in mind that your space is limited and not all images work that well at this size.

After typing that, I went ahead and tried the very wide picture approach and it turned out, well… very wide. [See photo on left]

Be sure to frequently look at the image your creating, by “actual size” from the “View” menu. Also, it’s best to use light color graphics/text on a transparent background. Save it as a .PNG file, with transparency turned on. When in use, the default Lightroom color scheme will fill the background.

This LR feature will also accept identity plates in .JPEG format – Black, or very dark backgrounds work best to blend with the default LR color scheme.

Tip: When creating light color graphics (particularly vector graphics in Illustrator or Affinity Designer)… Be sure to invert the Artboard view to dark, or simply create a big square in black, that fills the background. Lock the layer and build your graphic on top of it… Then before you save the file to .PNG (with transparency turned on), delete the background.

Tip: For Mac users out there, you can save time by using your “Screen Capture” feature to get your base line graphic dimensions.

  • Open Adobe Lightroom
  • Use Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT+CMD+4
    • This will change your mouse from an arrow to crosshairs.
  • Click and drag from the furthest left of the Lightroom dashboard, and pull it up until your fill most of the black area and pull it across until your left of the minimize arrow.
    • Check out the image to the left
  • Many of you will be able to see the pixel dimensions as you drag and outline the area. Use that figure as your maximum document size. (Or simply open the newly created screenshot and get the dimensions there)

STEP 2

Open Identity Plate Setup

Choose “Lightroom > Identity Plate Setup” (Mac OS) or “Edit > Identity Plate Setup” (Windows)

Alternatively, you can right-click on the current Identity Plate and select “Edit Identity Plate”.

STEP 3

Install the New Identity Plate

At this stage, it should be rather clear what you need to do, so I’ll hit the high points.

As noted early on, you can be dull and simply input your name here and be done with it… But that’s not what we did all this work for, so be sure to click on the bubble for “Use a graphical identity plate” and click “Locate File“. Navigate to your recently completed design and select it.

At first, your graphic may be too large, or it may be too small, or you might have completely bombed it… Fret not, I did the first few times and now you have a baseline to adjust from. Here is where you want to tweak and test in order to make it fit.

Head back to Step 1, scale your original design, save and try again.

Change the Font Type for the Module Titles

On the right side of the window, you’ll find the ability to change up the font type and size, as well as the font color for active and inactive module titles.

Tip: If you have a personalized logo and the font type available on your computer, use that font type to create a seamless dashboard masthead.

Multiple Identity Plates

Another neat feature you’ll find here, is the ability to create multiple identity plates.

At the top, where by selecting “Personalized” and clicking down on the drop menu where it says “Custom”… you can save the current setup and create multiple plate options that can be shuffled, as needed.

This is very handy if you have a single catalog and wish to shuffle them up depending on project, client usage, screen grabs/recording, etc… I’ve found many reasons.

Additionally, the identity plates are written into the catalog file itself, so if you’re one of those photographers with multiple catalogs for different projects/clients, why not create fresh identity plates for each using graphics and information related to each of them. 😉

Enjoy the new look!