Soft Layout

Ok, we're going to start with a 480 x 128 image with a white background.

Creating a new document

Now, add a new blank layer above the background layer and select about half of the image with the Rectangular Marquee Tool. (Make sure you are working with the new layer.)
Set the main color to white (by pressing the D key on your keyboard) and fill the selected rectangle with white by pressing CTRL + Backspace. (Or the command key + backspace if you're working on a MAC... I think)

Selected rectangle

To give this white rectangle some colors, open the blending options dialog. Layer->Layer Style->Blending Options...
To change the color, go to Color Overlay and add use a nice red color. I used #9c0016. Also, remember to select Multiply. You'll see why in the next step.

The color overlay settings

For the second and final blending mode option, add some Gradient Overlay like this:

The gradient overlay settings

Here's what we got so far, right?

The header layer is complete

Create another layer and select it. This will be the menu bar. So select an area like this:
Mine is 24px high. Also, I think it looks better if you add a 1px space between the header and menu bar. So go ahead and do that if you want to.

Navmenu selection

Fill the selection with white, and enter the Blending Options again to add some Gradient Overlay.

Gradient overlay for the navigation menu

The progress so far:

The progress so far

Now, let's add some buttons!
Zoom in, and use the pencil tool to draw 2 lines like this:

Button separator

That doesn't really look very good, so we're going to change the blending mode and opacity like this:

Blending mode and opacity settings

We're almost done now, just add some text and some more buttons like this:

With logo and links

I assume that you know how to add text, so I'm not going to explain that part.
(Font: Arial, logo color: #e0a300)

For the final touch, we're going to add nice hover effect on one of the buttons.
Create a new layer, and draw a white rectangle (you know how to do that now) like this:

The last white box

Set the blending mode to multiply...


And add some Color Overlay like we've did before:

Color Overlay for the hover effect

And there you go!


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