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Using a Blend Mode in Photoshop to Your Advantage

Sometimes, during a busy workday, you only have a quick minute to make a quick color change to an image or graphic. You don’t always have time to make a selection, refine it, perfect it, and then make color adjustments to parts of an image. If you have an image on a white background, and you need to change its color, using a blend mode in Photoshop might be your salvation. I put together a quick tutorial showing a practical method for using a blend mode in Photoshop to change an image’s color.


Above is a generic image that you typically see on the web of silhouettes in business suits. It is a generic image that a lot of businesses use. Let’s say you have a client project, and this graphic actually turns out to be useful for it. Rather than using the graphic in black and white, you want it to match the blue of your client’s site. Let’s say their signature color is #151c2d and you want the suits to match.


Instead of selecting all of the black areas of the suit, create a new layer and fill it completely with the #151c2d color. You can do this by Holding the Alt/Option Key and hitting the delete key. Select solid color and dial in the hex value.

Using a Blend Mode in Photoshop

You’ll see a solid blue block of color over your image, but we will fix that. Several Blend modes work for this, depending on what colors your graphic contains. Since ours is black, Lighten, Screen, Linear Dodge and Lighter Color will all work fairly well. You can hold down shift and hit + or – while the color layer is selected to cycle through blend modes without having to click on them.


The results are pixel perfect, because the results are generated by the main images color information. No selections are needed. This can save you 5 to 10 minutes of making a selection, masking or clipping, and a bunch of other run around. Do you have any quick tips like this for Photoshop? Using a blend mode in Photoshop can mean the difference between seconds and minutes spent working on just one image.