Lighter Shade of Garnet Presents: How to Get Retweeted by DJ Swearinger

Grant Halverson

Supplies necessary: Photoshop, Google, 140 characters or less, and a thirst for excellence.

Greetings, Tweeters of Gamecock Nation!

Have you an unidentifiable void in your life? Lacking validation? Seeking that elusive self-esteem boost that only the approval of a 22 year old can provide? Well get ready to fill that gaping soul-hole with a much-coveted DJ Swearinger retweet.

How does one achieve such a thing? Two words: AMATEUR PHOTOSHOPS. That's right, folks. The only thing the Greenwood product and future mid-round draft pick loves more than leveling a ballcarrier is a haphazardly cobbled photo-illustration that proudly displays not only his on-field heroics, but only the tackiest of design faux pas.

As a Professional Graphic Designer, I'd like to offer a concise tutorial to anyone in urgent need of that sweet Swearinger RT. Follow close and, remember, time is of the essence! DJ could be unleashing a torrent of retweets at this very second. Do you dare miss the boat and be forced to wait a full 45 minutes for the next RT cycle? Didn't think so. Read on!

STEP 1: Find a picture on GOOGLE™ IMAGES SEARCH™ ENGINE.

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Keep in mind your choice has to—I repeat, HAS TO—be the picture of DJ in Tron glasses or the one where he's uppercutting Andre Ellington. No other pictures will suffice, and those who stray will surely fail. We'll go with Tron glasses.

STEP 2: Load Photo into ADOBE™ PHOTOSHOP™ PHOTO EDITING SOFTWARE™

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Dust off that Adobe CS2 Photoshop icon, it's time to work. You probably haven't opened the program since you designed the cover to your band's demo back in high school, so it may take a minute to gather itself. Bear with it!

STEP 3: Cut DJ out and, for Godsakes, make it jagged

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Here, we're going to want to "isolate" DJ on a "white" "background", so choose your "polygonal lasso tool" and click a selection around DJ's head and body. There's no time for precision here—DJ just tweeted 30 seconds ago, so you'll need to work with haste if you want to catch him while he's still active.

Step 4: Add a background photo

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In design, you want to create a sense of dimension. We also want to send the message that DJ is "all over the place" and "godlike" so we need a supporting picture. Obviously, this will be the shot of DJ flexing after his key tackle against Florida in 2011. As with the foreground photos, this is the only admissible background photo and all others will be REJECTED AND DEEMED UNWORTHY.

Step 5: AWWWW YEAH FILTER GALLERY

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In the words of DJ himself, "U ALREADY KNO!" Look, it's a fact and every amateur Shopper knows it: FILTERS MAKE THE SHOP. And no cheating, either. You use the default settings, understand? None of that fancy-schmancy customization, Picasso. Remember, time is of the essence.

Oh, the choices! What will it be? Ink Outlines? Film Grain? The ever-popular Plastic Wrap?

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Oh, Accented Edges! A fine choice, sir. Right away.

STEP 6: I DUB THEE SWARINGER.

Up next, we've got to tag this beauty. Of course we'll use Papyrus, the Nickelback of fonts, and a staple of any yoga studio, candle shop, zoo pamphlet, or vaguely ethnic restaurant.

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Oh, you spelled his na—yes, yes, I'm sorry, time's ticking. You'll notice the font is a little thin, so we'll need to punch it up. Go to the "layer blending options" and turn them all on. All of them, I say!

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Much better.

STEP 7: The Devil's In the Details

We're close, but you need something to set your design apart from the hundreds hurtling at DJ at this very instant. Think of it as if you're applying for the retweet. Why should DJ pick your resume out of the masses?

Because you made his head an explosion, that's why.

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Hm. A bit much. Let's just move it off to the side.

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I'm still not sold. Scratch the explosion. Let's add...I dunno. An angry rooster?

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YES. Now we're cooking with gas. But don't settle for less! What's more intimidating than one angry rooster? How 'bout 50 of em.

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Congratulations. Your Photoshop is now, in the parlance of our times, "epic".

STEP 8: Save 'er down.

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Give it the ol' file save treatment, and then AND ONLY THEN will you notice the spelling error. Now, this is up to you. Is it worth your time to go in and re-shop it? Of course it is, because while this may be a cheap appeal to DJ, it's your photoillustrative footprint we're talking about. No standard, save perfection, shall suffice.

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Totally ninja.

STEP 9: Tweet That!

The all important final step. All your previous efforts could go unappreciated if you skimp on tweetcraft. Surely your sycophantic urges haven't subsided—if they have, I'd advise a quick screening of the Ellington hit to get your juices—then, hopefully, your allotted 140 characters—flowing.

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Congratulations, and enjoy your retweet. And hey, if DJ's not your bag [ed: what's wrong with you?] or even if you root for another team entirely, use this tutorial as a template for your own favorite player on any team.

So bait your line with your own hastily assembled 'Shop, and cast it out into the Lake Twitter. Because remember: you're only making Twitter—nay, the world—a better place and there is absolutely nothing more important in this life than getting retweeted by a college football player. Have a great weekend!

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